America Movil SAB (AMXL) mounted a new defense against criticism by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, saying the group’s study this year on Mexican telecommunications used flawed and cherry-picked data to make prices seem too high.
The OECD report, commissioned by Mexico’s government and published in January, left out discounts in America Movil’s mobile-phone plans to make Mexico’s prices seem higher than those in other member countries, Chief Financial Officer Carlos Garcia-Moreno said today on a conference call. The OECD said it stands by its study.
The administration of former President Felipe Calderon, whose term ended Dec. 1, cited the OECD’s study to call for tighter regulations in the telecommunications market, where America Movil has 80 percent of landlines and 70 percent of mobile subscriptions. The study said Mexican phone and Internet carriers overcharged consumers $13.4 billion a year from 2005 to 2009.
“This report did a disservice to the Mexican sector, to the Mexican institutions responsible for this sector, and, I would say, to the OECD itself,” Garcia-Moreno said.
America Movil commissioned its own studies, published in May, contradicting the OECD’s assertions. Garcia-Moreno said he waited until today to hold a conference call to discuss a 10- month-old report because the company has needed to take that time to conduct further analysis on the OECD’s research.
Garcia-Moreno said the OECD didn’t provide the data and computer programs necessary to review the study’s calculations, so America Movil had to reproduce the methodology itself.
“The OECD stands by its report in full and supports the reforms under way in Mexico to boost competition in the telecoms sector,” Carolina Ziehl, a spokeswoman for the group, said in an e-mail.
Mexico’s three major political parties signed an agreement last weekend to strengthen antitrust and telecommunications agencies and to regulate the dominant carrier’s network and prices “according to international best practices.”
America Movil rose 0.2 percent to 14.84 pesos at the close in Mexico City. The shares have dropped 6.2 percent this year.
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