July 18, 2018 / 3:02 PM / 2 months ago

America Movil says AT&T-Time Warner deal will not change Latam market

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - The CEO of America Movil, Latin America’s largest telecommunications company by subscriber numbers, said on Wednesday that AT&T Inc’s acquisition of Time Warner will do little to change the telecoms landscape in the region.

FILE PHOTO: The logo of America Movill is seen on a wall at the company's corporate offices in Mexico City, Mexico March 14, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso/File Photo

U.S. telecoms company AT&T closed its deal to buy media company Time Warner for $85 billion last month.

“I don’t think it’s going to affect the market in Latin America,” America Movil Chief Executive Daniel Hajj said on a call discussing the company’s second-quarter results.

“There’s going to be more production of content, and everybody is going to have access to all of the content.”

America Movil, which is controlled by the family of Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, reported on Tuesday a 94-percent drop in net profit due to currency-related swings.

But data revenue rose and the company added 1.1 million lucrative post-pay customers during the quarter, suggesting the fundamentals of the business are strong.

On Brazil, one of America Movil’s most important markets, Hajj said the company is still evaluating whether to make a bid for Cemig Telecom, a unit of Brazilian utility Companhia Energetica de Minas Gerais .

“(If) the price looks good for us, then I think we are going to do it,” Hajj said. “And if not, then we are going to step out.”

The company also said it will focus more in the coming months on Chile, where its market share has been slipping.

Hajj added that America Movil may challenge Chilean resolutions on telecoms, including a recent Supreme Court decision on spectrum, in international arbitration.

The resolutions “create a lot of uncertainty for the future development and our future investments,” he said.

In Mexico, America Movil is recovering from a landmark telecoms reform intended to lessen its dominance, but the regulatory landscape for the company appears to be improving.

Hajj said he expects the administration of president-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who takes office on Dec. 1, to focus on improving coverage in rural areas.

He added that he was hopeful that the company will soon obtain a license in Mexico to offer television, a service it has long been blocked from.

Reporting by Julia Love and Sheky Espejo

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