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Mexico's Slim Family Eyes Spanish Telecom Market

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Mexico's Slim family still wants to offer telecommunications services in Spain three years after one of its companies backed out of a wireless spectrum auction in that country, according to a key family member.

"There is an interest from us to participate in the Spanish [telecommunications] market under the right conditions," said Carlos Slim Domit, the chairman of Telmex Internacional and Telefonos de Mexico, at a press conference in New York on Tuesday.

Family patriarch Carlos Slim Helu, Slim Domit's father, forged a Latin American telecommunications empire through his purchase of a controlling stake in former state monopoly Telefonos de Mexico, or Telmex, in the early 1990s.

Today, the Slim family controls the region's No. 1 wireless carrier America Movil, which was spun off from Telmex in 2001, and Telmex Internacional, another Telmex spinoff that started trading as a separate publicly listed firm Tuesday.

In 2005, America Movil decided not to bid for wireless spectrum in Spain because of the small size of the licenses offered by regulators, which some analysts saw as a move by the Spanish government to keep the Mexican firm out of the market.

Spain's former state phone company Telefonica is Slim's main competitor in Latin America, where it has wireless and fixed-line operations in most of the region's major markets.

In Mexico, Telefonica ranks a distant second behind America Movil's Telcel unit with about 13.3 million wireless subscribers.

-By Ken Parks, Dow Jones Newswires, 52-55-5001-5723, ken.parks@dowjones.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

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Tags: telefonica  america movil  telcel  new york  carlos slim  telmex  Spain