Mexican watchdog halts Televisa deal

CFC says pact would threaten smaller players

MEXICO CITY — Mexico’s antitrust agency has put the brakes on Mexican broadcaster Televisa’s plans to buy a stake in another cable company.

The Federal Competition Commission (CFC) said the deal could threaten smaller players in the cable market and said it won’t allow the deal unless Televisa meets certain conditions, according to CFC documents posted on the Web site of Mexican daily newspaper El Universal, which reported the news Friday.

Through a subsidiary, Televisa wanted to purchase a 50% stake in Television Internacional (TVI), based in the northern city of Monterrey, for $69 million.

Televisa representatives were not immediately available for comment.

Televisa owns controlling stakes in Mexico City-based cable provider Cablevision and satcaster Sky. Televisa’s purchase of TVI would help it expand its reach as it prepares to offer triple-play services of video, data and voice.

On Oct. 3, the Mexican government published regulations that will allow for cable companies and telephone companies to offer triple-play services.

In order to complete the purchase, the CFC is asking Televisa to meet five conditions, including divesting its interest in Sky for the area around Monterrey covered by TVI’s cable service.

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