19 de diciembre de 2014 / 17:58 / hace 3 años

Mexican telecoms regulator opens probe into market practices

MEXICO CITY, Dec 19 (Reuters) - Mexico’s telecoms regulator has opened a fresh antitrust investigation into companies offering voice, data and video services, which could affect Carlos Slim’s telephone company America Movil and broadcaster Televisa.

Announced in the government’s official gazette on Friday, the investigation by the Federal Telecommunications Institute (IFT) focuses on companies’ market practices, and whether they are using their position to gain unfair advantage.

The IFT has already declared billionaire Slim’s America Movil and Televisa to be dominant players in Mexico, subjecting them to tougher regulation.

That declaration of dominance was principally due to their market share. The new probe targets players with “substantial market power” in voice, data and video at the national, state, regional or local level, the government said.

It could potentially include America Movil and Televisa, but an IFT spokeswoman said the regulator could not comment on which players were the focus of the investigation.

A spokesman for Televisa said he did not know if the company was being investigated in the probe, which could lead to the imposition of more stringent regulations. America Movil did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

America Movil has about 70 percent of the mobile market in Mexico and more than 60 percent of the fixed-line and Internet business. Televisa, which is pushing hard to take customers off Slim in the fixed-line and Internet business, has more than 60 percent of the free-to-air television audience. (Reporting by Dave Graham)

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