Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A Mexican Rupert Murdoch

Special report: New Mexican TV probe hits embattled Slim | Reuters

First they handed him a record fine. Then they denied him a television license. Now Mexican regulators are investigating whether business tycoon Carlos Slim has already snuck into the TV market by the back door.

Three years since Slim's phone giant Telmex and satellite TV firm Dish Mexico formed a powerful alliance to offer a cut-rate television service, regulators are giving the deal a second look.

Telmex rivals have complained loudly for years that the partnership is improper and runs against rules that bar Slim's company from putting a foot into the TV market. Now a Reuters investigation has discovered that the Mexican competition regulator is questioning whether the world's richest man's joint enterprise with Dish Mexico is legitimate.

In the last three months, regulators have launched four drives to curb Slim's power in the telecoms market, including a record $1 billion fine from Cofeco against America Movil for allegedly abusing its power.

Slim's lawyers, who are challenging the fine, won a small battle last month when they convinced competition commissioners to remove the commission's chief from the panel reviewing the fine.

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