Mar 11, 2013

Mexico Seeks Telecommunication Reform To Open Foreign Investment In Telephone, TV Markets

Huffington Post 
By Michael Weissenstein

Mexico City - President Enrique Pena Nieto moved Monday to overhaul and strengthen the weak and chaotic regulations that have allowed the world's richest man and its largest Spanish-language media empire to exert near-total control of Mexico's lucrative telephone and television markets.

The reforms would give the Mexican government tools to take on multibillionaire telephone tycoon Carlos Slim and Televisa CEO Emilio Azcarraga, independent observers said. The two rivals' holds on their respective markets have been widely seen as emblems of regulatory dysfunction in a country aspiring to join the ranks of the world's economic superpowers.

Their companies' pervasive influence has repelled a series of attempts to break their dominance over the years. The tycoons' power could thwart fresh efforts despite Pena Nieto's push to put teeth into Mexico's deeply flawed regulatory system, experts said.

The reforms would create two new national television channels and form a new independent regulatory commission along the lines of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, with the power to unilaterally punish non-competitive practices, including withdrawing corporations' licenses. A second independent commission would be able to order firms to sell off assets in order to reduce their market dominance.  Read more. 

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