(Adds analyst comment, attempt to seek comment from IFT)
MEXICO CITY, March 8 Billionaire Carlos Slim's
America Movil said on Wednesday that the Mexican
telecommunications regulator had stepped up antitrust rules
against the company, including ordering it to separate out part
of its fixed-line infrastructure.
America Movil, controlled by the family of Slim,
has been subject to tougher regulations since 2014 as part of a
sweeping sector reform aimed at making the market more
It said the Federal Telecommunications Institute (IFT)
ordered the company to create an independent entity from
fixed-line unit Telmex to offer competitors access to
infrastructure, confirming a Reuters report from February that
the change was being considered.
An IFT spokesperson did not immediately respond to requests
The "functional separation" would be based on a plan
presented by Telmex to the IFT for its approval, America Movil
said in a statement to the Mexican stock exchange.
After describing what the resolution requires, the company
criticized it, said it was analyzing it and that it will
challenge the decision.
"The modifications and additions to the measures... confirm
the lack of legal certainty and regulatory predictability in the
sector," the company said.
Alexander Elbittar, a researcher with Mexico's CIDE
university who specializes in regulation and competition, said
he was not surprised that America Movil will challenge the
resolution as a means to keep its legal options open.
While he emphasized that it remains to be seen how Telex
will propose to structure the separation, he said the
overarching resolution appears to be sound.
"This is a drastic measure but one that has had to be taken
in markets that have featured very strong concentration (of
market power) for many years," said Elbittar.
The vote by the IFT was taken last week as part of a
periodic review of antitrust rules.
Since the rules came into place, America Movil has seen its
home profit margins squeezed from 45 percent to less than 30
percent, but it still holds a wireless market share of almost 70
(Reporting by Christine Murray, David Alire Garcia and Noe
Torres; Editing by Leslie Adler)