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Slim’s Telmex Rejected in Bid for Court Review of TV Permit

Telefonos de Mexico SAB, the land-line phone unit of billionaire Carlos Slim’s America Movil SAB, was dealt a blow by the Supreme Court in its legal effort to win a license to offer pay-TV service.

Mexico’s high court declined on Aug. 7 to review a suit by Telmex, as the company is known, against Mexico’s communications ministry, a court official who asked not to be named under the agency’s policy said Aug. 17. A Telmex official declined to comment.

The decision kicks the case back to a lower appeals court, the Seventh Collegiate Court in Administrative Matters, Reforma newspaper reported. A separate appeals court had already ruled against Telmex on July 5 in a similar case, a decision that made the Supreme Court unlikely to take up the matter, Gerardo Sanchez Henkel, the communications ministry’s legal director, said in an interview last month.

Mexico’s communications ministry rejected a Telmex request for a TV license in May 2011, citing deficiencies in the quality of the company’s connections with rival networks. Telmex sued to block that ruling, arguing that the ministry didn’t have the authority to make that decision. That suit led to the case the Supreme Court declined to hear.

Telmex, which has been seeking a TV license since 2006, is welcome to reapply for a TV license, Sanchez Henkel said in July. He didn’t respond to phone and e-mail messages Aug. 17.

Telmex, which is limited to phone and Internet service in Mexico, makes up about 16 percent of sales for America Movil. The Latin American telecommunications carrier represents about 57 percent of the wealth of Slim, 72, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

America Movil slid 0.3 percent to 17.17 pesos at the close in Mexico City. Telmex, which America Movil is in the process of delisting, rose 0.4 percent to 10.05 pesos.

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