Mexico lawmakers approve telecom reforms

Mexico lawmakers approve telecom reforms

[JURIST] The Camara de Diputados [official website, in Spanish], the lower house of Mexico’s Congress, voted [official bulletin, in Spanish] on Wednesday to approve strict reforms limiting dominant telecommunications and television companies. After 20 hours of debate, lawmakers passed the measure, which would force companies controlling over 50 percent of the market in affected sectors to sell off assets and parts of their business, by a vote of 318-107. To become law, the legislation, already approved by the Mexican Senate [official website, in Spanish], must still be signed by President Enrique Pena Nieto [official website, in Spanish; BBC profile], whose party, the PRI [party website, in Spanish], supports the measure.

If enacted, these regulations are expected to most strongly affect the holdings of Carlos Slim Helu [BBC profile], whose telephone carriers control over 70 percent of the market. Slim, listed by Forbes magazine as the second wealthiest man in the world, has already announced plans to sell off a portion of his holdings [LAT report] to comply with the new regulations.