MEXICO CITY Jan 29 Mexico's plans to boost
competition in the telecommunications sector may make
distinctions between the industry's dominant player, tycoon
Carlos Slim, and his rivals, Finance Minister Luis Videgaray
said on Tuesday.
New President Enrique Pena Nieto took office on Dec. 1
pledging to shake up competition in Mexico, where crucial
sectors like telecoms are concentrated in a few hands.
Slim, the world's richest man, controls about 70 percent of
the mobile phone market and around 80 percent of the fixed line
business, and Videgaray's words offered one of the clearest
indications yet the new government aims to weaken his hold.
Videgaray told a news conference in Mexico City that a pact
signed between Mexico's main political parties last month could
seek to impose "asymmetric regulation between the dominant
competitor and the remaining competitors in the industry".
"What does this mean? That there's a distinct treatment in
terms of regulatory effects, as is the case in many countries
where there's a dominant competitor, or one which is
significantly larger than the remaining players in the
industry," Videgaray said, without naming Slim specifically.
The minister added that the government planned to increase
the power of Mexico's telecoms regulator, Cofetel.
The dominance of moguls like Slim is blamed for pushing up
the cost of vital services in Latin America's second biggest
economy. Slim's companies argue their prices reflect the outlays
incurred in developing Mexico's telecoms infrastructure.