Photo: Enrique Peña Nieto
Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto received a list of candidates for two new regulatory bodies that were created as part of a recent overhaul of the country’s telecommunications and broadcast industries.
A committee made up of Eduardo Sojo, head of the National Institute of Statistics and Geography, or INEGI; Bank of Mexico Gov. Agustin Carstens; and Silvia Schmelkes, head of the National Institute for Educational Evaluation, delivered two lists with 35 names each.
Each of the lists was divided up to provide the president with five options for seven different vacancies.
All of the candidates meet the constitutionally established requirements for the regulatory seats, Peña Nieto said Friday upon receiving the lists.
He will narrow the lists down to 14 candidates to sit on a new and more empowered telecoms-sector regulator, the Federal Telecommunications Institute, or Ifetel; and the Federal Economic Competition Commission, or CFCE, and present those names to the Senate.
The telecommunications overhaul took effect on June 10, having obtained the support of all of Mexico’s main political parties and the approval of a majority of state legislatures.
“We’re working to form two institutional bodies that ... fulfill the spirit ... of the recent reforms carried out in the areas of economic competition” and telecommunications, Peña Nieto said.
He said the new institutions would seek to ensure economic competitiveness and promote more affordable and higher quality goods and services.
Ifetel’s powers will include the ability to apply asymmetric regulation and even compel dominant operators to shed assets.
The overhaul is expected to affect Mexican magnate Carlos Slim’s telecommunications empire since Telcel and Telmex, the wireless and fixed-line units of his America Movil company, control roughly 70 percent and 80 percent of their respective markets in Mexico.
It also could disrupt Mexico’s broadcast television duopoly of Grupo Televisa and TV Azteca, which control 70 percent and 30 percent of that market.
In a report last year, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development said the lack of sufficient competition in Mexico’s telecommunications sector costs the economy $25.8 billion annually (an amount equivalent to nearly 2 percent of the country’s gross domestic product).