MEXICO CITY – Mexico’s government has asked the Supreme Court to review a legal case involving fixed-line giant Telmex’s bid to acquire a cable TV license.
In a report, the Supreme Court said the Communications and Transportation Secretariat, or SCT, petitioned it to hear its appeal against a lower-court ruling in favor of the company, part of Mexican multi-billionaire Carlos Slim’s business empire.
The legal dispute dates back to December 2009, when Telmex sued to enter the TV market after telecoms regulator Cofetel failed to respond in time to its a request for a license.
Telmex said then that it had complied with its obligations under the 2006 Convergence Agreement, which spells out the conditions telecom firms must meet to offer triple play (television, Internet and telephone) service, including “non-discriminatory” interconnection rates and service.
Telmex’s attorneys seized on Cofetel’s failure to meet the deadline, arguing that the lack of a response amounted to tacit approval of the cable TV license request.
In May 2011, the SCT rejected Telmex’s television bid, finding that it had been providing substandard interconnection service to competitors in violation of the Convergence Agreement.
In November 2011, a judge granted Telmex’s request for an injunction against that ruling and ordered the SCT to issue a new decision on the fixed-line giant’s bid to offer television service over its fiber-optic network.
The SCT, in turn, has appealed that lower-court ruling and now is asking the Supreme Court to take up the case and issue a final decision.
The high court has not yet announced if it will take up the Telmex case or not.
A unit of Mexico City-based regional wireless giant America Movil, Telmex maintains it has the infrastructure to offer pay TV and that approval of its bid would boost competition and give consumers more triple play and quadruple play (also including cellphone service) options. EFE