* Appeals court voids back-door supreme court bid
* Next government set to decide Telmex TV license


MEXICO CITY, July 6 (Reuters) - Carlos Slim may be years
from winning a coveted license to enter Mexico's television
market after a court on Thursday dashed the hopes of the world's
richest man to expand his media empire on his home turf.
Slim, who already offers triple play packages bundling
internet, TV and phone services in the rest of Latin America,
has been thwarted for years in his bid to enter Mexico's
television market.
The tycoon's bid to enter the pay TV market will now likely
take years and the case will test the administration of Enrique
Pena Nieto, which has promised to increase competition in Mexico
where Slim dominates the phone market.
"They are passing the ball to the next administration," said
Jaime Martinez, a trader at brokerage Actinver in Mexico.
The lower court decision means Slim's Telmex will have to
reapply from scratch for a TV license.
It came as a surprise, since Mexico's Supreme Court earlier
this week agreed to review Slim's claims that regulators
mishandled paperwork on his original application four years ago.

The lower court decision effectively voids the case in front
of the Supreme Court, analysts explained.
"(This decision) just removes a window that could have
accelerated Slim's plans to enter the TV market," said Julio
Zetina, analyst at Vector Casa de Bolsa in Mexico City.
Shares in America Movil, Telmex's parent, were
little changed, up 0.12 percent at 17.33 pesos in local trading.
"This is a firm decision that denies the injunction by
Telmex and recognizes the validity of the government's
resolution," said Gerardo Sanchez, legal director for Mexico's
Communications and Transport Ministry (SCT).
Most analysts still expect Slim to enter Mexico's TV
business eventually, Zetina said. But Slim's bid for TV will now
likely be decided after Mexico's next president takes office in
December.
The legal setback for Telmex could give the government more
power to demand concessions from Slim, such as sharing his
infrastructure with weaker mobile competitors, in return for
allowing him to offer TV services.
A Telmex official said the company would not comment on the
ruling.
The incoming government has been accused of having close
ties to Mexico's top broadcaster Televisa. Televisa has fought
hard to preserve its stranglehold on the broadcast and pay TV
market.

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