Televisa accepts regulator’s conditions for approval of Iusacell stake acquisition

19 Jun 2012

Mexican media giant Grupo Televisa has reportedly confirmed that it will accept the conditions imposed by competition regulator Comision Federal de Competencia (Cofeco) as part of the latter’s approval of a tie-up between Televisa and local mobile operator Iusacell. However, according to Reuters, the acquisition of a 50% stake in Iusacell by Televisa remains by no means a certainty, as it is understood that the former is continuing to evaluate the watchdog’s ruling on the matter. Luis Nino de Rivera, a spokesman for Iusacell’s parent, Grupo Salinas, was cited as saying: ‘Each one [of the companies involved] has to make its own evaluation … The joint evaluation of the business was made a long time ago.’

Iusacell has until the middle of this week to reach a final decision on whether it will accept the conditions laid out by Cofeco, which as reported by CommsUpdate earlier this week include the successful auction of new TV frequencies enabling the launch of a new television network within two years. A Cofeco statement on this element of its decision noted: ‘If after 24 months the auction of a third television network has not been made successfully, it will automatically trigger a mechanism to dissolve the partnership between Televisa and Grupo Salinas in Iusacell.’ Other conditions reportedly include the requirement for both Televisa and TV Azteca (the TV network owned by Grupo Salinas) to refrain from forcing would-be TV advertisers to become Iusacell customers, while Televisa and Iusacell must also offer all cable and satellite TV customers a new pay TV package that includes all four of Televisa’s free public channels. Should any of the conditions fail to be met, Cofeco has said that, as well as the dissolution of the sale, fines of up to 10% of each firm’s annual turnover will be imposed on the duo.

Mexico, Grupo Televisa, Iusacell (inc. Unefon)