Ruling on Mexico’s Televisa-Nextel deal delayed-source

* Regulators reviewing Televisa-Nextel bid

* Two of five commissioners no show at Friday’s session

* Ruling delayed until next week-source
(Recasts with vote delay)

By Cyntia Barrera Diaz

MEXICO CITY, Aug 13 (BestGrowthStock) – Mexico’s telecommunications
regulator Cofetel on Friday delayed until next week a
controversial vote on whether to allow leading broadcaster
Televisa entry into the mobile phone business, according to a
source close the situation.

Televisa, together with its partner, wireless operator
Nextel, was the only bidder for a 30 MHz nationwide block in
the 1.7 GHz band of frequency. The deal has to be approved by
regulators before it can move forward for final approval from
Mexico’s Communications Ministry.

But two of the telecoms watchdog’s five commissioners
failed to show up for Friday’s session, Cofetel said.

“Today nothing will happen … not until next week,” a
source close to the situation told Reuters.

Despite the delay, Cofetel is likely to approve the
Televisa-Nextel bid, two sources with knowledge of the process
told Reuters this week. The sources declined to be named
because they were not authorized to speak to the media about
the deliberations.

Some politicians have complained that the auction was set
up to allow Televisa and Nextel to low-ball their bid. The
venture has revived criticism that government officials are
beholden to Televisa, which has a 70 percent market share in
broadcast television in Mexico.

The two companies offered about $14 million, a fraction of
the $400 million that rivals America Movil and Telefonica
offered when they bid for another slice of the mobile
spectrum.

America Movil (AMXL.MX: ) (AMX.N: ) is Latin America’s leading
cell phone service provider and is owned by billionaire Carlos
Slim. Spain’s Telefonica (TEF.MC: ) is second in the region.

The venture of Nextel, a unit of NII Holdings (NIHD.O: ), and
Televisa (TLVACPO.MX: ) (TV.N: ), was the only group eligible to
bid for the 30 MHz nationwide block because of rules capping
the amount of spectrum that an operator can own.

Televisa has committed to buying 30 percent of wireless
operator Nextel for $1.44 billion if their bid succeeds. They
plan to develop a 3G data services network.
(Additional reporting by Tomas Sarmiento; editing by Carol
Bishopric)

Ruling on Mexico’s Televisa-Nextel deal delayed-source