MEXICO CITY Oct 18 Mexico's telecoms regulator
has opened an anti-trust probe into the domestic market for
public telephones, the government said in its official gazette
The investigation will look at possible anti-competitive
behavior in the "market for production, distribution and
commercialization of public telephone service for sale to final
users via telephonic apparatuses for public use," it said.
Telmex, a unit of tycoon Carlos Slim's America Movil
, dominates the fixed line phone business in Mexico.
Before Slim acquired Telmex at the start of the 1990s, it
was a state monopoly. It has public phones throughout Mexico,
where it competes with smaller firms including Logitel and Alta.
As is customary, the government did not say which company
the Federal Telecommunications Institute (IFT) was targeting in
the probe, which was sparked by a complaint.
Local media reported in July that another company, Conatel,
had made an anti-trust complaint against Telmex over the public
telephones market. IFT documents published online in June showed
Conatel had complained it could not compete with Telmex.
Consulted on the matter, a Telmex spokesman said it was too
early to say whether the company was the target of the probe.
Slim, Mexico's richest man, has dominated the local phone
business for years, and the government passed a major telecoms
reform in 2013 to loosen his hold on the telecoms market.
The public phones probe will last at least 30 working days
and not exceed 120 working days, though the period of
investigation can be extended if necessary, the government said.
(Reporting by Dave Graham and Veronica Gomez; Editing by