Mexican tycoon Slim seeks funding details of U.S. protest group

Tue May 21, 2013 7:21pm EDT
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By Elinor Comlay

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - A U.S. cellphone company owned by Carlos Slim has asked Californian authorities to investigate the funding behind protests against the Mexican tycoon by lobby group Two Countries, One Voice.

The group has been leading U.S. protests against Slim, accusing his phone company of charging Mexican immigrants inflated prices to call home, just as the billionaire tries to build up business in the United States.

Slim's small but growing U.S. cellphone company Tracfone on Tuesday said it filed a complaint with California's Fair Political Practices Commission, alleging the group has been lobbying state officials and regulatory bodies.

"We have requested that the FPPC investigate our determine the true sponsors of (Two Countries, One Voice) and whether the political process in California has been unduly subverted by corporate and/or political interests."

A spokesperson for California's FPPC did not immediately respond to messages.

It is not the first skirmish between Slim and the group.

Last year, Two Countries, One Voice organized a demonstration against Slim with the Occupy Wall Street movement and New York politicians outside Saks' SKS.N swanky Fifth Avenue flagship store in Manhattan, in which Slim owns a stake.

At the time, Slim's spokespeople said that Two Countries, One Voice was a paid protest group.   Continued...

People protest holding masks printed with the face of Mexican telecommunications and retail tycoon Carlos Slim as he attends the Meeting of Latin American Businessmen at a hotel in Lima May 3, 2013. REUTERS/Enrique Castro-Mendivil