MEXICO CITY – Mexico’s Federal Telecommunications Institute (IFT) has ruled that leading broadcaster Televisa has a dominant position in pay-television services that enables it to set prices on its own and restrict competition.
The regulator said in a bulletin Thursday that between January 2009 and August 2014 competitors made efforts to gain market share but were stymied by Televisa.
“Investment requirements in infrastructure, access to audiovisual content and advertising,” among other elements, also represent significant barriers to market entry, the IFT said.
The resolution, approved in a vote in recent days, could pave the way for regulatory measures to boost competition, such as limiting exclusive content, obligating Televisa to share infrastructure or forcing the media giant to divest assets.
This latest ruling reverses a previous decision in September 2015, when the IFT found that Televisa did not have “substantial power” in the pay-TV market.
The company had earlier been labeled a dominant player in free-to-air television in 2014 by the IFT, which was created in 2013 as part of a broader telecommunications overhaul.
Televisa, which is the world’s largest Spanish-language broadcaster and has a nearly 60 percent share of Mexico’s pay-TV market, slammed the decision as unconstitutional and vowed to lodge an appeal.
Televisa, which posted net income of 5.3 billion pesos ($265 million) in 2016, down 56.7 percent from the previous year, operates four broadcast television channels in Mexico and produces and distributes 26 pay-TV brands and approximately 50 feeds.
In the United States, the company distributes its pay-TV channels through Univision.