Mexico seeks telco and TV competition
March 10, 2014
By Colin Mann
The near monopoly enjoyed by Mexico’s leading broadcaster Televisa and telco América Móvil in their respective sectors look set to change following a ruling by state regulators that they have “preponderant” market share.
Mexico’s Instituto Federal de Telecomunicaciones Federal Telecommunications Institute is to introduce 188 measures that seek to reduce their participation, as well as inviting tenders for two national broadcast networks, in which neither Televisa nor TV Azteca can participate.
According to Mexico’s Comisión Federal de Competen (Federal Competition Commission) Televisa controls 70 per cent of the broadcast television market in Mexico and TV Azteca the remaining 30 per cent.
The 188 measures – the Declaración de preponderancia ( Preponderance Statement) – must be implemented within 30 days, and seek to limit the dominance of the business groups in infrastructure, fees and content.
Ironically, the initiative could ease the way for billionaire Carlos Slim get into broadcast television. América Móvil – owned by Slim launched an OTT video service at the end of November 2012. Existing legislation effectively bars it from using its network to offer TV programming.
Televisa has eaten into América Móvil’s subscriber base by offering its own voice, Internet and TV tripleplay service bundles.
Slim has tried unsuccessfully to obtain a TV licence since acquiring Teléfonos de México (Telmex) in a government privatisation sale. The government maintains that the company hasn’t met requirements in its network connections with rivals.
In a press statement Televisa said the regulator’s decision requires it to “make its broadcasting infrastructure available to third parties on a non-discriminatory and non-exclusive basis”.