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MEXICO CITY, April 10 (Reuters) - Mexico’s telecoms regulator said on Friday it will analyze its next step after a media group backed out from paying for a new TV network, undermining the government’s efforts to open up an industry controlled by broadcaster Televisa.
Grupo Radio Centro said earlier on Friday it did not pay the 3.1 billion pesos ($204 million) it had offered for the new network before the April 10 deadline, and that it would cover a 415 million peso deposit required to participate in the auction.
The Federal Telecommunications Institute (IFT) said the tender was now void and that it would look at what to do with the nationwide TV network. A spokeswoman for the telecoms regulator said this week that the watchdog is likely to call for another auction.
Radio Centro’s winning bid was well below the 1.81 billion pesos offered by the other winner, Cadena Tres, which is part of Grupo Empresarial Angeles, a conglomerate owned by Mexican businessman Olegario Vazquez.
The auction of the two new digital TV channels is part of a wider telecommunications overhaul finalized last year which hopes to shake up the broadcasting sector, dominated by Televisa , the world’s largest provider of Spanish-language content, and TV Azteca.
Shares in Grupo Radio Centro fell nearly 5 percent on Friday before the news. Shares are down nearly 14 percent from a record high hit in March after the company won the license. (Reporting by Michael O‘Boyle and Gabriel Stargardter; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)