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America Movil is Selling, and AT&T Might Be Buying

September 16, 2014 - Written By Phil Bourget

Carriers have the goal of making their network as good as possible for their customers, so they profit as much as possible.  The other main goal is to grow their network, acquiring assets to be able to have a geographically larger coverage area.  Mexico is an interesting market, because it gets so much less coverage and limelight.  But this week, Mexico has the attention of many around the world.  Mexico’s largest carrier and network, America Movil, has the attention of someone that isn’t so great to alert, and that’s the government.

The Mexican carrier has decided to sell some of its assets off to appease the antitrust folks in the country.  The move is great for America Movil since they have recently gotten into business with Telekom Austria CG, and now have broken into the European market, as was the company’s goal for a while.  But the biggest news is the sale of the assets on the eastern coast of Mexico, as well as who was offered and invited to bid.

America Movil contacted United States carrier AT&T, as well as the Japanese firm that owns Sprint, Softbank Corp.  BCE’s Bell Canada and China Mobile Ltd. were also contacted by the Mexico City-based carrier.  America Movil faces pressure from the government, since it controls 70% of wireless and 80% of landlines in the area, and will reportedly get the penalties levied by the government (antitrust penalties that are currently curbing the company’s profit).

The assets, which cover a span from north to south along Mexico’s eastern coast.  As well as covering quite a bit of land and quite a few people, they may also be very, very valuable.  Apparently, the towers could be worth as much as $17.5 billion USD.  At this time, we know nothing more than who America Movil has contacted regarding bidding on their towers.  We do know, however, that AT&T also is working to gain network spectrum in southern North America and northern South America, and could greatly benefit from this gain in coverage abilities.  We will have to wait and see what happens, because nobody seems to be talking about the bidding at all.  Who do you think could benefit the most from gaining America Movil’s towers?  Who would you hope gets it?  Let us know.