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Mexican broadcast and media conglomerate Grupo Televisa (TV, TLEVISA.MX) said Tuesday it is in conversations to explore a possible alliance in the mobile phone market with wireless operator Grupo Iusacell.
"At this time, no agreement has been reached between Televisa and Grupo Iusacell. There can be no assurances that any agreement will be reached, or the timing or terms of any such agreement, if one is reached," Televisa said in a press release.
Televisa, Mexico's largest television broadcaster which runs four of the country's six nationwide broadcast channels, also provides satellite TV service and TV, Internet and phone service, or triple play, through its cable businesses.
Grupo Iusacell, the smallest of Mexico's four mobile operators, is controlled by Ricardo Salinas Pliego, who runs the country's No. 2 broadcaster TV Azteca SAB (TVAZTCA.MX).
The TV companies are involved in a dispute with the country's largest telecommunications concern America Movil SAB (AMX, AMX.MX), controlled by billionaire Carlos Slim, demanding lower interconnection rates from Slim's Mexican mobile company Telcel.
In October last year, Televisa pulled out of a planned $1.44 billion investment for a 30% stake in Nextel Mexico, the local unit of NII Holdings Inc. (NIHD), after Iusacell filed a series of lawsuits challenging the validity of an auction in which Nextel and Televisa won a 30-megahertz block of wireless spectrum.
Other operators were kept from bidding on the block because of spectrum caps imposed by the country's antitrust commission.
By Anthony Harrup, Dow Jones Newswires; (5255) 5980-5176, firstname.lastname@example.org