Mexico Pressures Slim

May 9th, 2011 by · 1 Comment

The Wall Street Journal has an article this morning detailing a growing challenge to the reign of Telecom’s (and the world’s) richest man, Mexico’s Carlos Slim, and América Móvil, which he controls.  A few weeks ago, Mexico’s antitrust regulator actually worked up the mojo to fine his Telcel subsidiary $1B for monopolistic practices.  Then last week, the country’s Supreme Court ruled that Telcel couldn’t ignore regulatory decisions while challenging them in court.  These events, as well as a growing challenge from Televisa, are billed as potentially reshaping the competitive landscape in Mexico.

Well, I’ll believe it when I see it.  Slim’s power south of the border is not something one can unravel with a few fines and regulatory rulings.  Look how much it has taken Australia to take on Telstra in a meaningful way, and then consider that Slim’s stranglehold is probably quite a bit more complete.  But if there’s a downside to being proclaimed the world’s richest man, it’s that even your allies won’t be sending troops to your defense.  Perhaps Slim’s consolidation of his holdings last year was ill-advised, not from an organizational or financial standpoint, but rather that gave his opponents a single target to focus on.

I’ve always wondered if Carlos Slim would ever make a serious effort to expand outside of Latin America.  At one point a few years back, he did buy  a 10% stake in Global Crossing to sit alongside Singapore Technologies and Telemedia.  But he sold out of that position a year or so later.

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Categories: Government Regulations · ILECs, PTTs

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  • Anonymous says:

    Does america movil own Trac phone & Net10? Im not sure how much revenue they pull in, but i think they are one of the bigger ‘pay-by-the-minute’ cellulars in the US.

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