Telmex denies it is seeking to avoid regulation with asset divestment

20 Jan 2014

Mexican fixed line incumbent Telefonos de Mexico (Telmex), a unit of Latin American telecoms giant America Movil, has rejected claims that it is divesting assets with a view to avoiding tougher regulation, Reuters reports. Amid suggestions that it plans to spin off a unit which holds assets including fibre-optic infrastructure and telephone poles, and in the wake of an order from a local judge to cease any disposals, the telco has denied that its corporate plans were designed to circumvent regulations. Commenting on the matter, an unnamed spokesperson for Telmex was cited as saying: ‘Telmex is not undertaking any action to avoid regulation which it has already welcomed and which should benefit the whole telecommunications sector and consequently the consumer.’

As per previously announced plans, Telmex revealed in July last year that shareholders had given the nod to spin off a new company made up of three units called Alquiladora de Casas, Compania de Telefonos y Bienes Raices and Renta de Equipo. While the company says that these are real estate and leasing businesses, rival Bestphone, a unit of broadcast giant Grupo Televisa , has suggested that the assets are in fact vital to Telmex’s network and claims the spin-off should have been reported to regulators. ‘Bestphone is very concerned that the spin-offs are a ploy to avoid the telecom reform, in particular an effort to avoid important aspects such as interconnection (between phone companies), which would reduce costs to consumers’ benefit,’ a Bestphone spokesman noted.

Mexico, America Movil (AM), Bestel, Telefonos de Mexico (Telmex)