Ifetel likely to get increased power to police dominant providers

28 Feb 2014

Mexico looks set to give the country’s recently created telecoms regulator, the Instituto Federal de Telecomunicaciones (Ifetel), powers which will allow it to police dominant telecoms companies and TV broadcasters, according to Reuters. A draft bill governing the implementation of telecom reforms which began last year is expected to be sent to Congress within the next few days, and with the 134-page draft said to comprise hundreds of articles, it reportedly combines two existing laws and reforms several others. Of particular note is the way the proposed legislation looks to handle matters of dominance, with it understood that the bill will hand the Ifetel significant powers related to such matters. Those companies deemed to hold significant market power could be required to ‘submit to the Ifetel for approval’ a host of services for other companies connecting to their infrastructure and network, it is said. Further, the watchdog may also gain the power to scrutinise plans by operators to divest assets. While a number of the powers detailed in the draft actually already existed under the previous telecoms law, former regulator the Comision Federal de Telecomunicaciones (Cofetel) often faced difficulties in applying them as companies could file injunctions which prevented the previous antirust body, the Comision Federal de Competencia (Cofeco), from actually declaring them as dominant providers. However, constitutional reforms passed last year mean that the Ifetel now has jurisdiction over antitrust issues in telecommunication and broadcast businesses, while separate legal revisions mean companies can no longer seek injunctions against decisions by the regulator.

Mexico, Instituto Federal de Telecomunicaciones (IFT)