UPDATE 3-Carlos Slim bows to Mexico telecoms reform
(Adds details, government statement, quotes)
By Christine Murray
MEXICO CITY, July 8 (Reuters) - Billionaire Carlos Slim's America Movil said on Tuesday it is ready to divest assets in an unprecedented step to cut its market share in Mexican telecoms below 50 percent and escape the burden of tougher regulations.
The company, which controls some 70 percent of Mexico's mobile market and 80 percent of the fixed line business, said in a statement its board had decided to sell assets to another company that could boost investment in the sector.
America Movil, Latin America's biggest telecoms company, did not specify which assets it could get rid of, and a spokesman said it was still open as to what and to whom it could sell.
But America Movil said the buyer needed to be "an option that can genuinely take part in this capital-intensive sector, to overcome the insufficient investment of our competitors."
The Mexican government hailed the decision, saying it was a direct result of its drive to improve competition.
"The Transport and Communications Ministry declares that this decision could transform competition in the telecommunications sector with improved quality and better prices for services to end users," the ministry said in a statement.
Still, any divestitures would be "conditional" on America Movil's mobile phone and fixed-line units no longer being declared dominant players, the company said. That could still create a potential conflict with Mexico's telecoms regulator. Continuación...