Mexican watchdog's ruling another blow to Slim's Telcel

MEXICO CITY, April 4 Thu Apr 4, 2013 7:34pm EDT

MEXICO CITY, April 4 (Reuters) - Mexico's competition watchdog Cofeco said mobile phone company Telcel dominates the country's phone market, opening the door to tougher regulation of the company owned by Carlos Slim, the world's richest man.

The announcement on Thursday confirms a 2010 ruling by Cofeco that Slim's company had appealed.

The decision could pave the way for Mexico's regulators to force Telcel to reduce the fees it charges smaller rivals for connecting to its vast network.

Telcel, the Mexican unit of phone giant America Movil , has about a 70 percent market share.

America Movil shares are down more than 16 percent since the start of the year on concerns Mexico's new government is stepping up regulation of the telecom sector.

About 35 percent of America Movil's revenue of 775 billion pesos ($60 billion) in 2012 came from Mexico.

President Enrique Pena Nieto, who took office in December, last month presented a plan for sweeping reform of the telecommunications industry.

That reform was backed by Mexico's lower house and is now before the Senate.

A spokeswoman for America Movil said the company is reviewing the announcement and considering its legal options.

A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Find your dream retirement town

Florida? Hawaii? Reuters has teamed up with Zillow to give you the power to customize a list of your best places to retire.  Video | Full Article