Political Risk Latin America Blog @PolRiskLatam

Mexico’s competition bill: all bark or more bite?

Posted in News and Articles, Political Risk by politicalrisklatam on December 6, 2010

by Ronald Buchanan for Financial Times – Beyond Brics, December 6th, 2010.

Mexico’s Senate is expected to vote as soon as Tuesday on a bill to promote competition in the economy. And a very good thing too, many might say. In fact, they already have, including President Felipe Calderón.

Many sectors, ranging from beer to television, not to mention telecommunications, are dominated by companies regarded officially as “dominant” by the government’s Federal Competition Commission. But the commission lacks the power of a genuine trust-buster.

More than a year ago, Mr Calderón launched a “decalogue” of radical changes for Mexico, which included a blast at the behemoths of the economy. No names were named, of course, but the implication was that fresh winds of competition were likely to face such magnates as Emilio Azcárraga Jean of Televisa, Latin America’s leading media group, Roberto Hernández, the tortilla king and banker, and, of course, the wealthiest of them all, not only in Mexico but the world, Carlos Slim.

Mr Slim is generally described as a telecommunications and retail magnate, but that includes only a part of his interests, which now include the construction of oil rigs for the state oil monopoly, Pemex, and more recently mining and real estate, soon to be spun off from his empire. (continue reading… )


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