On Wednesday, the IFT's seven commissioners had been scheduled to determine guidelines under which broadcasters must make their channels available free to cable and satellite-TV operators and those pay-TV providers must distribute the channels to their customers.
The IFT said its commissioners agreed unanimously to reschedule the discussion of the "must offer" and "must carry" rules to study the judge's opinion.
Mexican telecommunications and media companies have used drawn-out legal processes to avoid regulatory actions. This week's court ruling was seen by some as a sign the new regulators will continue to face dilatory legal challenges.
"This is a trial by fire for the telecom body. We'll know soon of what the commissioners are made of," said
The IFT was created last year under a telecommunications overhaul and given the power to determine dominant companies--specified as those with market shares above 50%--and to impose measures to establish competitive conditions. Measures can include special rules to curtail the advantages of dominant players and even forced asset sales, if deemed necessary.
At issue is whether the IFT can make resolutions before laws are in place to implement the changes made to the Constitution last year. The enabling legislation, initially expected in December, has yet to be presented to
The institute has a
Televisa isn't the only broadcaster in dispute with Dish Mexico, which is a joint venture between
Telmex, a former government monopoly that was privatized in 1990, is barred from offering TV service under its concession, but the company has a marketing and billing agreement with Dish. Azteca and Televisa believe that via Dish they are directly competing with Telmex and its vast resources, including millions of customers who can have the TV service included on their monthly telephone bills.
Dish and Telmex deny allegations that Telmex has any equity interest or management involvement in Dish.
Azteca said Dish's use of its channels, which the satellite-TV operator started distributing, along with
Dish said that the amended Constitution not only allows it to use the signals free of charge, but requires it to carry them without charging its customers.
"We understand that there can be readings or interpretations, but we think that the constitutional norm is very clear," said
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