(Adds market shares and context)
MEXICO CITY, Oct 2 (Reuters) - Mexico’s telecommunications regulator has ruled that broadcaster Grupo Televisa does not have market power in pay television, meaning the company avoids being hit with new tougher rules.
The investigative arm of the Federal Telecommunications Institute (IFT) provisionally said in March that Televisa did have “substantial market power”, causing its shares to dip at the time.
But a vote by the IFT board on Wednesday rejected that finding because the company, the world’s largest provider of Spanish-language TV content, has been losing market share, the IFT said in a statement on Friday.
However, it retains a powerful hold on the market.
Between September 2013 and March 2015, Grupo Televisa’s share of Mexico’s satellite TV customers fell to 71 percent, from 73 percent. Its share of cable TV subscibers fell to 52 percent from 54 percent, according to the IFT.
In order to vote yes, regulators would have had to prove Televisa was dominant enough to be able to unilaterally fix prices. A high market share alone was not enough.
The IFT said competitors such as Dish, Megacable and Axtel had won new subscribers faster than previously, causing Televisa’s market share to fall, which showed there was competition in the market.
Last year, as part of a wider sector reform in telecoms and broadcasting, Televisa was declared dominant in the free-to-air TV market, forcing it to allow pay TV rivals to show its free content, among other measures. (Reporting by Christine Murray; Editing by Dave Graham and Clarence Fernandez)