America Movil Running Low On Options For Mexico TV Permit

Billionaire Carlos Slim’s legal setback last week in pursuing a long-sought license for America Movil SAB (AMXL)’s Telmex unit to offer pay-TV service in Mexico may leave him with few options left, a government lawyer said.

An appeals court ruled on July 5 that the Communications and Transportation Ministry had the authority to reject Telmex’s petition for a license. As a result of that ruling, the Supreme Court may decide against reviewing a separate case over whether the ministry erred in denying the license, said Gerardo Sanchez Henkel, the ministry’s legal director.

“Even if the Supreme Court did take up the case, we’d go to the court and show that we’ve complied perfectly with the law,” Sanchez Henkel said in a phone interview on July 6. TheSupreme Court will probably decide by early August whether to review the case, he said.

America Movil, based in Mexico City, is seeking to add video service to its Internet-and-phone packages to compete with cable carriers controlled by Grupo Televisa SAB. Slim’s company had 14.6 million phone land-lines at the end of March, down 6.3 percent from a year earlier, as more users in the country shift to mobile devices.

Telmex, which had operating income of 26.6 billion pesos last year, has been asking for a TV license since 2006.

The ministry isn’t aware of any other legal proceeding related to Telmex’s pursuit of a TV license, Sanchez Henkel said.  Read More      (Bloomberg/Harrison)

Florida Latin Connection/ Arnoldo Varona, Editor 

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