March 5, 2018 / 8:03 PM / in 10 months

Mexico regulator approves America Movil fixed-line separation plan

MEXICO CITY, March 5 (Reuters) - Mexico’s telecommunications regulator approved America Movil’s plan to separate part of its fixed-line unit into a separate entity, according to documents published on the regulator’s website.

The Federal Telecommunications Institute (IFT) ordered America Movil, controlled by the family of billionaire Carlos Slim, to break out part of its Telmex unit last year, ratcheting up antitrust measures against the company.

The IFT narrowly voted on Feb. 27 to approve a separation plan proposed by America Movil, with four commissioners in favor and three opposed, according to a record of the vote posted on the regulator’s website. The record did not give any details about the proposal the commissioners had voted on, or state when the documents were published.

America Movil declined to comment on the vote.

America Movil has been in discussions with the regulator for about a year over how to separate out part of Telmex, which was long the heart of the company before the rise of mobile communications.

Mexico enacted a landmark telecommunications reform in 2013-2014 to boost competition in the sector, attracting investment from AT&T Inc, but America Movil held nearly two-thirds of mobile lines in the country in the first quarter of 2017, according to data published by the IFT.

In a note to investors, Signum Research wrote that it saw little immediate impact for America Movil, noting the long time frame the company has to implement the plan.

Shares of America Movil rose more than 2 percent to 17.94 pesos in afternoon trading.

Reporting by Julia Love; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

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