Last week the Mexican congress approved the overhaul of the dominated telecommunications sector with the aim of increasing competition and minimising the near-monopoly of Carlos Slim, the owner of America Movil and now world’s wealthiest man. This could potentially mean that prices of calling Mexico could come down.
President Enrique Nieto is leading an agenda to encourage foreign investment into Mexico, with the telecoms sector being amongst the most attractive markets – especially as the dominant competition (America Movil) can no longer control more than 50 percent of the market. The bill that was recently passed has given regulators the power to sell assets of any company controlling more than 50 percent of the market, encouraging foreign phone networks and related businesses to stake a claim for the remaining percentage,
As it currently stands, Carlos Slim’s business controls 80 percent of the fixed landline market and 70 percent of the mobile market as well. These extraordinary figures are one of the main factors behind his rise to become the wealthiest man in the world, also highlighting just how big an opportunity there is now to control the 30 and 20 percent drops his businesses will have to absorb.
Of course, the companies will have the right to appeal against the decisions made by the newly created Lfetel (the organisation set to oversee the industry), potentially delaying decisions and maintaining the companies assets.
Although we don’t have a quote from him, we’d imagine that Carlos Slim isn’t a happy man.