(Adds analyst comments)
By Cassandra Garrison
MEXICO CITY, Jan 27 (Reuters) - Shares of Mexican telecoms giant America Movil were little changed on Thursday after a highly anticipated vote by a regulator a day earlier kept the company without a sought-after license to enter the local pay TV market.
Shares of the company, controlled by the family of Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim, were by mid-morning up about 0.15% to 19.84 pesos, paring some earlier losses.
Mexico's telecoms regulator IFT concluded a vote https://www.reuters.com/business/media-telecom/america-movil-still-without-mexico-pay-tv-permit-after-regulator-vote-source-2022-01-27 on Wednesday that means, for now, the firm will remain without a license for pay TV, a source with knowledge of the process said.
The company is already the largest pay TV provider in Latin America, operating in countries including Brazil and Colombia, and has been pushing for the coveted license in its native Mexico.
The IFT and America Movil have not commented on the vote.
"I think now the real negotiations happen behind the scenes," said Roger Entner, an analyst at Recon Analytics. "Carlos Slim .... is not going to give up. He's pulled so many rabbits out of a hat, you lose count."
America Movil Chief Executive Officer Daniel Hajj had been vocal about the company's ambition to get the authorization by the end of last year.
The prospect of America Movil's entrance into Mexico's pay TV sector rattled competitors. Some analysts and organizations warned it would be detrimental to competition.
U.S. officials had voiced concern to Mexican officials about competition if America Movil was granted the license, Reuters exclusively reported https://www.reuters.com/business/media-telecom/exclusive-us-voices-concerns-mexico-ahead-decision-america-movil-pay-tv-license-2022-01-24 this week.
America Movil company executives called a press conference after the report to say they were seeking to meet with U.S. officials https://www.reuters.com/business/america-movil-says-happy-meet-us-officials-discuss-plans-2022-01-25 to discuss their plans.
The firm had pledged an additional investment of 8 billion pesos ($387 million) to expand its fiber optic network if it got the green light to enter pay TV.
"I think they will (still) invest this in fiber," Entner said. "You're not going to cut off the nose to spite the face." (Reporting by Cassandra Garrison, Kylie Madry, and Miguel Angel Gutierrez; Editing by Bernard Orr)