Mexico's Televisa says new telecom rules 'disproportionate'

MEXICO CITY, March 25 Tue Mar 25, 2014 6:31pm EDT

MEXICO CITY, March 25 (Reuters) - Grupo Televisa, Mexico's top broadcaster, complained on Tuesday that passage of a new government telecommunications bill would impose unprecedented and "disproportionate" obligations on it that go far beyond what a regulator would require.

If passed, the rules would impose limitations on its advertising sales, use of infrastructure and content distribution, Televisa said.

Mexico's government on Monday sent to the Senate the fine print of its proposal to overhaul deeply uncompetitive phone and TV industries, whose high prices and patchy service are seen by many as a drag on growth.

Televisa, which has more than 60 percent of Mexico's TV market, said that the new measures go far beyond a ruling from the new regulator, the Federal Telecommunications Institute (IFT) issued earlier this month.

The IFT ruling requires the company to share its infrastructure with rivals and allow pay TV stations to carry its free-to-air programming at no cost.

"In terms of content regulation...we see some proposed sanctions as disproportionate," Televisa said in a statement.

It added that some of the new rules lacked any international precedent.

Opposition politicians on Tuesday said that the fine print of the telecoms overhaul undermines the IFT by keeping power in the executive's hands. (Reporting By Christine Murray; Editing by David Gregorio)

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