April 19, 2018 / 3:15 AM / a month ago

Mexico's top court sides with America Movil, says Telmex can charge rivals

MEXICO CITY, April 18 (Reuters) - America Movil’s fixed-line unit Telmex said on Wednesday that the nation’s supreme court has sided with it and ruled the firm should not be barred from charging rivals for calls to its network.

The decision follows a similar ruling from the Supreme Court in August that opened the door for America Movil’s mobile unit Telcel to begin charging its rivals for use of its network.

The rulings weaken a key pillar of a 2014 telecommunications reform intended to loosen billionaire Carlos Slim’s grip on a market he has dominated since taking control of former state phone monopoly Telmex in the 1990s.

Mexico’s Federal Institute of Telecommunications (IFT) will set the rates, which will become effective on Jan. 1, 2019, Telmex said.

A spokeswoman for the IFT did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The IFT ruled in November that America Movil could resume charging local rivals for mobile calls to its network.

In March, the IFT approved a plan to separate part of America Movil’s fixed-line units into new companies, after about a year of discussion. America Movil submitted a plan for the separation this month, which is intended to open up its infrastructure to competitors.

Telmex held about 62 percent of Mexico’s fixed-lines as of the third quarter 2017, according to IFT data. (Reporting by Anthony Esposito and Julia Love; Editing by Himani Sarkar)

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