Telefonica Says America Movil Disobeying Watchdog OrdersPatricia Laya
Telefonica SA called on Mexican regulators to crack down on America Movil SAB, saying the company isn’t obeying regulations on sharing its network or selling unlocked mobile phones.
America Movil’s landline units refused to provide information about their network infrastructure, Telefonica said in an e-mailed statement yesterday. Instead, the units responded to Telefonica’s request with a letter that said they disagree with the rules set by the Federal Telecommunications Institute.
Telefonica filed a complaint asking the government agency, known as IFT, to force America Movil to follow the rules or require it to divest assets. IFT imposed the regulations on America Movil, controlled by billionaire Carlos Slim, earlier this year after finding it dominant in the mobile and landline markets. Madrid-based Telefonica has 20 percent of Mexico’s wireless subscribers, trailing America Movil’s 70 percent.
“We are not asking for state secrets, simply without the infrastructure information we can’t move ahead,” Miguel Calderon, vice president of regulation for Telefonica Mexico, said in a phone interview. “All we want is for them to follow the law.”
Calderon said Telefonica officials along with a commercial notary visited about 40 of America Movil’s customer service centers across Mexico. None of them sold unlocked devices under prepaid plans, which would allow customers to switch wireless operators, he said.
A press official for the IFT said the regulator had received Telefonica’s complaint and is currently assessing America Movil’s response to its new regulations.
America Movil, based in Mexico City, and Telmex, the company’s fixed line unit, didn’t immediately reply to telephone calls to their press offices seeking comment.