• Rethinking Must-Carry and Retransmission Consent in the Digital Era


    Purpose –The emergence of new technological platforms to access online services and content have transformed the media landscape dramatically. Such transformation requires policymakers to reexamine the decades-old regulations traditionally addressed to broadcasters and telecommunications providers as must-carry and retransmission consent rules. This paper reviews must-carry regulation and case law in the United States of America, Mexico, and France. That is because each one of these countries has offered a variety of justifications for such rules (competition, local content, viewers ́ rights, diversity). The purpose of this review is to analyze whether or not the original reasons for must-carry regulation are still valid in the digital era.

    Methodology/approach/design –The research was conducted through document review and analysis of norms and case law from each one of the selected countries (USA, Mexico, and France) based on information collected via academic research. Also, analysis of statistical sources of information was attained to portray the penetration status of telecommunication services over the last decades in order to fully understand the context in which must-carry rules were enacted.

    Findings –Policymakers should consider other regulatory mechanisms to achieve the original reasons for must-carry rules. The dramatic increase in the variety of devices (e.g., TV, tablet, mobile phones, smart TVs), service and content distributors (e.g., free-to-air TV, cable TV, internet), and service providers (e.g., broadcasters and over the top internet providers) strongly suggests a reconsideration of the current approach. Yet any amendment to the current regulation will depend on internet penetration and access to new video distribution platforms in a given geographic area. That is to say, without internet access, free-to-air TV might continue to be an important platform for service and content distribution.

    Practical implications –Identifying and analyzing the reasons for imposing must-carry rules in connection with the telecommunication services penetration over the past decades, provides the necessary framework to assess the convenience and need to maintain such rules or to introduce changes and identify which modifications must be done to further the objectives pursued in a given country.Originality/value –This research is original insofar as it analyses must-carry rules and case law of three different countries with their own background and objectives. Must-carry rules are being enacted in several countries including in those in Latin America. This paper is useful for both policymakers and researchers to provoke an in-depth analysis as to whether must-carry rules should be enacted, amended or eliminated, based on the specific context and objectives pursued in a given country.

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    1 mayo, 2020 • Académicos / Investigación, Artículos • Vistas: 264

  • Regulatory State and judicial decisions in telecommunications in Mexico


    Purpose –To assess the role of the judiciary in defining the Regulatory State and in regulating telecommunications in Mexico after almost 5 years of the creation of an independent regulator for telecommunicationsand broadcasting (Instituto Federal de Telecomunicaciones) with authority in antitrust matters.

    Methodology/approach/design –To identify the most relevant judicial decisions in telecommunications and antitrust matters, research upon the context in which they were adopted, analyzethe content of the decisions and identify the impact of such judicial decisions in the construction of the Mexican Regulatory State, and in the law, in regulation/acts of the regulator.

    Findings –The main findings arethat: (1) the Mexican Regulatory State is a reality now, even if it is in its beginnings; (2) Congress is receptive to Judiciary ́s decisions; and (3) deference by judiciary to the regulator is not a blank check, even if there are complex technical issues and adiscretionary decision.

    Practical implications –The identification of a Regulatory State in Mexico evidences that there are deep changes in the traditional relationship between Congress and regulators. Also, the deference granted by the courts to regulators must be considered as a consequence of such Regulatory State. Nonetheless and despite the deference to regulators,Judiciary ́s role in building the telecommunications and broadcasting sector is paramount, because judicial decisions ultimately define it.

    Originality/value –Major changes to telecommunications and broadcasting have taken place in Mexico in the last years. Therefore, there has been scarce research and analysis about the new role of regulators, legislators, and judges, in the so called Regulatory State in Mexico. Moreover, the experience of Mexico may be valuable for other scholars which are assessing public policy in their own Latin American countries or in countries with similarities to them.
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    1 mayo, 2018 • Académicos / Investigación, Artículos • Vistas: 249

  • Espectro radioeléctrico, derechos humanos y competencia económica

    La dependencia creciente de la sociedad contemporánea a servicios y aplicaciones que precisan de la utilización de frecuencias del espectro radioeléctrico obliga a que el análisis comprenda aspectos técnicos, jurídicos (derechos humanos y rectoría del Estado) y económicos (mercado y competencia económica). Este artículo presenta las generalidades del espectro radioeléctrico a nivel internacional y nacional con la finalidad de analizar la denominada escasez del espectro, el debido proceso para el otorgamiento de concesiones y el marco jurídico vigente en México a partir de la reforma constitucional y legal de telecomunicaciones.

    The analysis of spectrum must include technical, legal (human rights and State governance) and economic (market and antitrust) standpoints, due to the increasing dependence of society to services and applications that use spectrum. This article presents general matters concerning spectrum both at an international and national level in order to analyse the so called spectrum scarcity, due process to grant licenses for spectrum use and the Mexican legal framework since the constitutional amendment in telecommunications and the enactment of a new law.

    Para acceder al artículo completo «Espectro radioeléctrico, derechos humanos y competencia económica», oprima el siguiente vínculo Clara Luz Alvarez – Espectro, Dchos Humanos y Compet – 2016

    Para citar este artículo se sugiere:
    Álvarez, Clara Luz, “Espectro radioeléctrico, derechos humanos y competencia”, Revista del Centro de Estudios Constitucionales, Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación, Año II, Número 3, Julio-Diciembre 2016, pp. 101-135.

    21 febrero, 2017 • Académicos / Investigación, Competencia Económica • Vistas: 1987

  • Nueva Cadena de TV. Nuevos Retos

    Por mandato constitucional el Instituto Federal de Telecomunicaciones (IFT) ordenó realizar la licitación de hasta dos nuevas cadenas nacionales de televisión, proceso que concluyó en marzo de 2015 con la entrega de la concesión a Cadena Tres I, S.A. de C.V. Esta salió al aire el 17 de octubre de 2017 como Imagen TV y con el slogan “Juntos somos libres”. ¿Qué retos enfrenta esta nueva cadena de televisión abierta?

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    1 diciembre, 2016 • Académicos / Investigación • Vistas: 230

  • Espectro radioeléctrico, derechos humanos y competencia


    La dependencia creciente de la sociedad contemporánea a servicios y aplicaciones que precisan de la utilización de frecuencias del espectro radioeléctrico obliga a que el análisis comprenda aspectos técnicos, jurídicos (derechos humanos y rectoría del Estado) y económicos (mercado y competencia económica). Este artículo presenta las generalidades del espectro radioeléctrico a nivel internacional y nacional con la finalidad de analizar la denominada escasez del espectro, el debido proceso para el otorgamiento de concesiones y el marco jurídico vigente en México a partir de la reforma constitucional y legal de telecomunicaciones.

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    1 julio, 2016 • Académicos / Investigación • Vistas: 247

  • Telecomunicaciones en el Porfiriato

    El artículo «Telecomunicaciones en el Porfiriato» publicado dentro del libro Porfirio Díaz y el Derecho, puede descargarse en el vínculo que aparece a continuación:

    Telecom en Porfiriato – Clara Luz Alvarez

    Para citar este artículo se sugiere hacerlo de la siguiente manera:

    Álvarez, Clara Luz, “Telecomunicaciones en el Porfiriato”, en Ávila, Raúl et al. (coords.), Porfirio Díaz y el Derecho, Cámara de Diputados e Instituto de Investigaciones Jurídicas de la UNAM, México, 2015, disponible en .

    10 abril, 2016 • Académicos / Investigación, Telecomunicaciones • Vistas: 3259

  • Must Carry, Must Offer in Mexico


    Mexico’s free-to-air television programming has long been dominated by two corporate groups: Televisa and TV Azteca. They jointly hold—directly or through subsidiaries—95 percent of the commercial licenses, 90 percent of audience share, and 99 percent of the advertisement income.1 Televisa is also a major pay TV player, controlling 62 percent of the market with its cable and satellite companies.2 With this level of high concentration in the television sector, Mexico’s 2014 telecommunications reform established constitutional “must carry” and “must offer” (MC/MO) regulations. Must carry and must offer (MC/MO) are two sides of the same coin. Must carry (MC) refers to the obligation of pay TV providers to include free-to-air channels in their programming packages. Must offer (MO) regulations, on the other hand, mandate that free-to-air (FTA) broadcasters offer their channels to pay TV licensees so the channels can be included in pay TV programming packages. While the reform legislation places rhetorical importance on promoting culturally diverse and pluralistic content for all broadcast audiences, there is little substantive commitment to these ideals. The Mexican variation of MC/MO is an ad hoc policy with many flaws. Congress failed to duly assess the impact on other provisions, like those related to the copyrights of content creators. Ultimately, the Supreme Court will determine the future of MC/MO in Mexico.

    Given the reform’s legal framework, however, content diversity and pluralism will not be enhanced by MC/MO in Mexico.

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    6 mayo, 2015 • Académicos / Investigación, Sin categoría • Vistas: 257

  • Preponderant agent, what is that?


    Purpose – Preponderant agent is a new instrument for preventing and reverting adverse impact in competition due to highly concentrated markets. Therefore, this paper’s objective is to present and analyze the preponderant agent concept in Mexico with emphasis on the broadcast sector, the telecommunication regulator decisions and the courts’ interpretation.

    Methodology/approach/design – The objectives were achieved by researching and analyzing the main legal documents, the Congress reports and debates, the regulator’s decisions and other relevant regulator’s documents, as well as final decisions by the courts in connection with broadcast sector.

    Findings – Among the findings are that certain topics were not duly addressed by the Mexican regulator, or by the Congress, whereas the courts were more willing to hold decisions in favor of public interest based on constitutional intent and deference to the regulator’s decision.

    Originality/value – This paper will be valuable for persons interested in telecommunications, broadcast and antitrust. Although the preponderant agent concept created in Mexico is not necessarily a “best practice”, it does provide an alternative instrument in antitrust. Moreover, the courts decisions also provide criteria regarding regulatory deference for the regulator.

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    1 mayo, 2015 • Académicos / Investigación • Vistas: 237

  • Mexican Telecom Reform: Private Interest First?



     Telecommunications reform, one of the pillars of President Enrique Peña Nieto’s highly-publicized structural reforms, was enacted to recognize as human rights access to: (i) information and communications technology; and (ii) broadcasting and telecommunications services, including broadband and the Internet. The reform also gave the Mexican government the authority to sanction or even split up companies engaged in monopolistic practices, and to establish ad hoc restrictions to minimize undue market advantages for dominant industry players – defined as companies that capture 50 percent market share measured by number of users/audience, capacity or network infrastructure. This article explores several aspects of this new legislation, including regulatory agencies; media and plurality; audience and users’ rights; restrictions to minimize market manipulation; mergers; data retention and geo-localization; and access for persons with disabilities. It also examines various aspects of the legislative process, as well as some broader implications of the new law.

    Key Words: Telecommunications, broadcasting, audience, mergers, antitrust, plurality, competition.


    La reforma de telecomunicaciones en México fue uno de los pilares de las llamadas reformas estructurales, cuyo objetivo fue reconocer a nivel constitucional el derecho de acceso a los servicios de telecomunicaciones y radiodifusión, los derechos de la audiencia, así como fijar límites a los grandes grupos corporativos de telecomunicaciones y radiodifusión. Este artículo presenta los aspectos principales de la nueva ley mexicana de telecomunicaciones (el regulador, pluralidad y medios, derechos de las audiencias y usuarios, la preponderancia, medidas contra los dominantes, concentraciones, conservación de datos y geolocalización, usuarios con discapacidad), los aspectos relevantes del proceso legislativo y el análisis del proceso legislativo.

    Palabras clave: telecomunicaciones, radiodifusión, audiencia, concentraciones, competencia económica, pluralidad, competencia.

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    1 enero, 2015 • Académicos / Investigación • Vistas: 230

  • Evasiones e indefensiones

    [Publicado en Reforma el 26 de noviembre de 2014]

    Si en México hubiera capacidad de reconocer errores y asumir responsabilidades, evolucionaríamos. ¡Imagínese que el presidente Enrique Peña Nieto renunciara para ser congruente con su discurso de combate a la corrupción y la señora Angélica Rivera pidiera disculpas por tratar de ofender la inteligencia de los mexicanos y se inscribiera en un curso de Ética! Continue Reading

    27 noviembre, 2014 • Académicos / Investigación, Medios, Política • Vistas: 2094