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Mexico government telecom bill undermines watchdog: opposition


By Gabriel Stargardter and Tomas Sarmiento MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexicos opposition said on Tuesday a government telecom bill undermines a new watchdog by keeping key regulatory powers in the executives hands, in a spat that could stall the passage of rules aimed at curbing cell phone mogul Carlos Slim and fellow tycoon Emilio Azcarragas TV group Televisa. Mexicos government on Monday sent to the Senate the fine print of its proposal to overhaul deeply uncompetitive phone and TV industries, whose high prices and patchy service are seen by many as a drag on growth. The bill includes details on the implementation of a constitutional reform approved last year, giving a new regulator wide-reaching powers to police the operations of dominant market players like Slims America Movil and Televisa, right down to their prices and discounts. However, Mexicos two main opposition parties, the conservative National Action Party (PAN) and the leftist Democratic Revolution Party (PRD), have been disappointed by the so-called secondary legislation presented by the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).

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