July 8, 2014 / 3:30 AM / 4 years ago

Mexico lower house committees pass telecom bill

MEXICO CITY, July 7 (Reuters) - Mexican committees in the lower house of Congress on Monday approved legislation needed to implement a reform of the phone and TV markets that seeks to rein in telecoms tycoon Carlos Slim and broadcaster Televisa.

Lawmakers passed the general framework of the bill, but they made dozens of reservations on specific parts of the legislation which will be debated on the floor of lower house on Tuesday before lawmakers take a full vote.

Mexico’s Senate approved the legislation on Saturday. The bill fleshes out a constitutional reform that was proposed by President Enrique Pena Nieto and approved by Congress last year.

The approval of the so-called “secondary laws” has been delayed by more than six months, complicating the work of a new regulator, the Federal Telecommunications Institute (IFT), that is charged with reducing the power of broadcaster Grupo Televisa and Carlos Slim’s America Movil.

Approving the telecoms law would open the door for Congress to pass separate secondary legislation on the government’s most ambitious reform, the opening of Mexico’s oil and gas industry to private investment after a 75-year state monopoly. (Reporting by Michael O‘Boyle; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

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