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Companies controlled by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim have withdrawn advertising from Mexico's No. 2 broadcaster TV Azteca SAB (TVAZTCA.MX), a person at TV Azteca said Wednesday.
The decision to pull ads from Azteca comes less than a week after Slim companies decided not to advertise with Mexico's biggest broadcaster, Grupo Televisa SAB (TV, TLEVISA.MX).
Companies controlled by Slim include mobile-phone giant America Movil SAB (AMX, AMX.MX, AMOV), fixed-line phone company Telefonos de Mexico SAB (TMX, TELMEX.MX, TFONY), known as Telmex, and Grupo Carso SAB (GPOVY, GCARSO.MX), which includes the Sanborns restaurant and store chain and other retail operations.
Slim's press office said the companies had no comment.
TV Azteca operates two of the country's six nationwide broadcast channels, and Televisa runs the other four.
Televisa and a spokesman for Slim said last week the decision to stop advertising on Televisa was the result of a disagreement over advertising rates charged by the broadcaster.
The pullout from the country's two broadcast incumbents comes as Telmex seeks to enter the television market from which it is barred until telecommunications authorities authorize a change in its concession. Cable operators, of which Televisa is the largest, are already offering bundled TV, broadband Internet and phone service, or "triple play."
In January, Televisa filed a complaint with the Federal Competition Commission, or CFC, calling for an investigation into Telmex's agreement to do billing and marketing for satellite-TV company Dish Mexico, which set up direct competition with Televisa's Sky Mexico satellite-TV service.
Slim's spokesman denied the advertising pullout was in retaliation.
Telmex says its activities with Dish Mexico are authorized by the CFC, rejecting assertions that they go beyond the marketing agreement and is a way of skirting the ban on offering television.
By Anthony Harrup, Dow Jones Newswires; (5255) 5980-5176, firstname.lastname@example.org