Mexico is gearing up to pass laws that will give IFT, the country’s regulator, extensive powers to curb the dominance of the mobile and fixed-line operations of billionaire Carlos Slim (pictured).
According to a draft version of so-called “secondary laws” that will muscle up the regulator – and seen by Reuters – IFT will have wide-ranging authority over dominant players “right down to the prices and discounts they offer”.
It suggests retail pricing regulation may well be on the cards, although the Reuters report does not confirm this.
Other IFT powers, according to the draft, include being able to order asset divestitures.
Earlier this month, IFT named Telcel and Telmex – mobile and fixed-line businesses owned by Carlos Slim’s America Movil – as dominant. The move was widely expected and part of a crackdown on anti-competitive behaviour by President Enrique Pena Nieto.
Telcel has 70 per cent of Mexico’s mobile subscribers, while Telmex controls 80 per cent of the fixed-line market.
Among the sanctions mooted are the scrapping of national roaming charges, the regulation of interconnection and wholesale rates, and forcing Telcel to give infrastructure access to MVNOs.
Emilio Gamboa, senate leader of the governing Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) – as reported by Reuters – said the secondary laws to implement the government’s overhaul of both the telecoms and television markets will be presented this week.
“The predominant economic player will cease to have such character when the [IFT] determines that its national market share, considering the variables used to declare it predominant, have been reduced below 50 per cent,” said the draft document.