How Competitive Is the Telecoms Sector in Mexico?
Technology & Telecommunications attorney Luis Rubio Barnetche spoke with The Dialogue's Latin America Advisor about the current state of the telecommunication and broadcast sector in Mexico. After 2013, Mexico began a decade-long overhaul of these sectors following recommendations from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The measures included lifting foreign investment restrictions and establishing the Federal Institute of Telecommunications regulatory agency (IFT). Mr. Rubio explained that the new legal framework brought a renewed spirit to the sector, as the IFT was independent from the executive branch and the majority of members of its governing body had prior industry experience. The IFT managed to reduce the market power of the incumbents, bringing lower rates and better mobile plans for consumers. However, the underlying conditions were not effectively changed, and some companies managed to delay compliance of certain obligations and successfully challenged certain legal provisions aimed at restraining its market power in the mobile sector.
"The intent was commendable, but implementation has failed to produce long-term benefits for consumers. Competition has not actually increased in Mexico. The incumbent holds either the same or more market power,” he said.