Mexico Supreme Court backs watchdog's power to rule in TV dispute

MEXICO CITY Mon Feb 17, 2014 10:15pm EST

MEXICO CITY Feb 17 (Reuters) - Mexico's top court on Monday said that the country's new phone and television regulator has power to enforce rules that were laid out in a constitutional reform approved last year, Mexico's President's office said in a statement.

President Enrique Pena Nieto last week asked the Supreme Court to intervene after a legal battle in a lower court between broadcasters and pay-television providers forced Mexico's new telecommunications regulator to suspend a decision.

The Federal Telecommunications Institute (IFT) had said a Mexico City judge had forced it to halt a planned decision on enforcing so-called 'must carry, must offer', which says pay-television operators must offer public broadcast channels, and the broadcasters must offer their signals for a fair price.

"The rulemaking process of the Constitutional Reforms...establishes that once the Federal Telecommunications Institute is set up...it will be the entity that enforces what is laid out in the reform," the Supreme Court said, according to the statement.

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