Carlos Slim bows to pressure as he agrees to break up America Movil empire

Slim has built a telecoms empire that spans the US and most of Latin America

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The Independent Online

Carlos Slim, the world’s second-richest man, has agreed to sell some of his telecom assets to avoid a clampdown by regulators in his native Mexico.

Slim has signalled that his company America Movil, which controls 70 per cent of Mexico’s mobile market and 80 per cent of the fixed-line business, could reduce its share to below 50 per cent.

The Mexican Government said that “could transform competition in the telecommunications sector with improved quality and better prices for services to end users”.

Slim’s dominant position across Latin America, where America Movil is the number one operator, has made him worth $71.5 billion (£41 billion), according to Bloomberg.

Selling assets could give Slim firepower to make acquisitions in Europe where he has taken a stake in online music recognition firm Shazam and made a failed bid for Dutch telecom firm KPN.

On Wednesday, Mexico's Congress approved a landmark telecoms reform that aims to curb the power of Slim's America Movil and broadcaster Televisa, which dominates the Mexican television market.