* Competition agency head testifies for eight hours
* Summons comes after violent scuffle over tie-up
By Cyntia Barrera
MEXICO CITY, Feb 24 Mexico's chief
competition regulator gave testimony on an undisclosed issue
after being summoned by prosecutors on Friday, weeks after a
scuffle broke out when his agency tried to notify two companies
about a blocked acquisition.
Eduardo Perez Motta, head of Mexico's anti-trust agency
Cofeco, testified for at least eight hours to federal
prosecutors, a Cofeco source said.
The source was not authorized to say what the citation was
about and a spokesman for the attorney general's office could
not immediately comment.
At the beginning of this year, a dispute exploded when
Cofeco blocked Mexico's largest broadcaster, Televisa
, from trying to buy half of cell phone company
Iusacell for $1.6 billion.
Televisa saw the bid as a way to expand into Mexico's phone
market, which is dominated by the world's richest man, Carlos
Slim, and his company America Movil.
But Iusacell is a sister company of the country's No. 2
television network TV Azteca and Cofeco had
concerns that ties between the two broadcast giants could lead
to collusion in the advertising market.
When Cofeco representatives went to the Iusacell offices in
Mexico City on Feb. 1 to notify the phone company about its
decision, a violent scuffle broke out between security guards
from both sides.
After the fight, the chief legal counsel for Iusacell's
owner Ricardo Salinas said the company was considering filing a
criminal complaint with the attorney general's office.
The Cofeco source could not confirm if Perez Motta
was discussing the incident on Friday.
"Authorities have requested to keep a low profile because it
is not over yet," the source said.
Cofeco's decision to block the Televisa-Iusacell tie-up
could still be subject to revision, since both companies have
the right to appeal.