MEXICO CITY Jan 23 A Mexican court decision has
dealt a fresh setback to telecom tycoon Carlos Slim's campaign
to obtain government approval to offer television services in
the country, El Economista newspaper reported on Wednesday.
The court's decision means Slim's phone giant, Telefonos de
Mexico (Telmex), will have to resubmit an application to change
its operating license under the new administration of President
Enrique Pena Nieto to include television.
Officials with Telmex, the main fixed-line phone operator in
Mexico, could not immediately comment on the report.
The company has unsuccessfully tried for years to enter the
market led by broadcasters Televisa and TV Azteca
, although it has expanded its online programming
and streaming offers via a free web channel, UnoTV.
Under the administration of Felipe Calderon, whose
presidential term expired on Dec. 1, the company was required to
open its network to smaller competitors, a mandate Telmex has
said it has complied with.
Slim already offers triple-play bundles in most of Latin
America, which combine Internet, TV and phone services, but his
bid to do the same in his home country remains elusive.
In Mexico, Telmex is the leading provider of Internet and
fixed-line phone services, while parent America Movil
dominates the cellphone market.
Mexican regulators on Wednesday moved closer to setting
guidelines for the fees telecom operators charge each other, a
process that sprang from the desire to curb the power of Slim in
the local telecom market.
Sector analysts believe Slim will eventually obtain the TV
Pena Nieto has committed to strengthen competition in
Mexico, including in the telecommunications industry, but has
yet to submit a plan to accomplish this.