“Legal, business, or otherwise”

Dolia Estevez in Forbes Magazine has a good piece on the Mexican government’s legal attack on monopolies, specifically Telmex, Telcel, and Televisa.  Mexico’s Federal Telecommunications Institute (IFT) ruled that all three were ““preponderant economic agents”, and forces the companies to “share their infrastructure, increase competition, lower prices and expand access to services such as broadband and pay television to decrease their power.”

Reasonable people may debate what constitutes a “preponderant economic agent” (or indeed what it even means), but the numbers in these cases are pretty clear cut.  Telmex, for instance, controls 80% of the landlines in Mexico, Televisa has 70% of the broadcast TV market and 56% of the cable and satellite TV.

As always in Latin America, de jure isn’t always (or usually) the same as de facto.  These companies have an enormous amount of political clout and they have been highly intertwined with PRI fortunes for decades.  I’m curious about how much this new ruling will be enforced.  Perhaps I lived in Mexico too long and am reading too much into the following statement, but I found it very interesting how Televisa execs said they would review the ruling to decide their next move, “legal, business, or otherwise.”   I wonder what the “otherwise” means… 

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