Mexico’s antitrust agency, the Federal Competition Commission, launched an investigation in January into the country’s fixed-line telephony service markets including the local, long-distance and wholesale telephony markets. The object of the investigation is to evaluate conditions of competition and to determine whether any company commands a dominant share of one of the fixed-line service markets.

In Mexico, fixed-line telephony markets are largely controlled by former state-owned monopoly Telefonos de Mexico (Telmex), which controls 90 percent of the country’s approximately 20 million fixed lines. Telmex is controlled by Carlos Slim, a Mexico-based billionaire, who bought the company during its 1990 privatization. Rivals have accused Slim and Telmex of using market dominance to stifle competition by, among other things, controlling rivals’ rates through interconnection fees charged to competitors forced to use its phone lines. A similar investigation was launched in December 2007 of Mexico’s mobile telephony markets. Telcel, a unit of regional wireless company America Movil, controls approximately 75 percent of the market for wireless services in Mexico. Telcel is also controlled by Carlos Slim.