Televisa boss exits Telmex board


MEXICO CITY -- Televisa president Emilio Azcarraga Jean has exited the board of Mexican telecom giant Telmex in a bid to gain regulatory approval for the acquisition of two key cable companies.

Earlier this year, Mexico's Federal Competition Commission (CFC) cited antitrust concerns in seting several conditions for the approval of Televisa's offers to purchase Mexican cablers Cablemas and Television Internacional.

Among those conditions was that Azcarraga Jean resign from the board of Telmex, Mexico largest fixed-line phone operator. An industry source on Monday said that Telmex chairman Carlos Slim Domit will be stepping down from the Televisa board. Slim Domit is the son of Carlos Slim, the world's second-richest man.

The antitrust regulator also said earlier this year that Televisa, Mexico's dominant media firm, must carry its competitors' broadcast TV channels and offer its networks to rival cable companies.

Televisa has provided a $258 million loan to cable company Cablemas, with the option of converting the long-term notes into a 49%% equity stake.

Cablemas is the second-largest cable operator in Mexico with nearly 700,000 television subscribers, 160,000 high-speed Internet clients and 20,000 IP telephony lines.

In October, the competition commission halted Televisa's plan to purchase a 50% stake in Monterrey, Mexico-based Television Internacional for about $70 million.

Regulatory authorities feared the purchase could hurt smaller competitors.

Televisa is actively seeking consolidation opportunities in Mexico's cable TV market as it prepares to launch triple-play services. Televisa owns satcaster Sky Mexico and cable operator Cablevision, which serves about 500,000 subscribers in the Mexico City market.

The acquisitions would allow Televisa to expand bundled video, voice and data services on a national level.