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Majority of Mexico States Approve Telecom Bill, Official Says

A Mexican law to boost competition in telecommunications and media gained approval from a majority of state legislatures, surmounting its final hurdle for passage.

“It’s a historic day for Mexico,” Jose Ignacio Peralta, deputy communications minister, said in a message posted on Twitter announcing the milestone. President Enrique Pena Nieto has already pledged support for the bill, which passed both houses of Congress last month.

The proposal seeks to increase investment and reduce prices in the phone and pay-television industries and to create more choice in broadcast TV. It would create tougher conditions for America Movil SAB, which has 70 percent of Mexico’s mobile-phone subscribers, and Grupo Televisa SAB, which gets 70 percent of the nation’s broadcast-television audience.

The new law allows foreigners to take majority stakes in landline phone and cable networks for the first time. It also calls for the creation of new TV broadcasters through government auctions.

The bill was approved with the support of Mexico’s three largest parties. Legislators will still have to draft supplemental rules, known as secondary laws, to support the new law.

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