Mexican telecoms regulator the Instituto Federal de Telecomunicaciones (Ifetel) has confirmed that it has approved US telecoms giant AT&T Inc’s USD1.7 billion purchase of local cellco Iusacell, paving the way for the US firm to formally enter the Mexican wireless sector. However, the watchdog said in a statement that it has set conditions on the deal in order to ‘avoid risks to the process of competition’ in those markets where Iusacell compete with Carlos Slim’s America Movil (AM), in which AT&T had previously been a minority investor. In addition, in giving the nod for the deal, the watchdog also confirmed it had approved Televisa’s sale of its 50% stake in Iusacell back to Grupo Salinas, allowing AT&T to then buy Iusacell in its entirety from that company.
As previously reported by CommsUpdate, in November 2014 AT&T entered into an agreement with Grupo Salinas to acquire Mexican wireless operator Iusacell for USD2.5 billion, inclusive of the latter’s debt. Under the terms of the agreement, AT&T will acquire all of Iusacell’s wireless properties, including licences, network assets, retail stores and approximately 8.6 million subscribers.