Oxxo has become a service hub. In the more than 17,400 stores of the brand in the country, it is possible to pay for services, withdraw or deposit money, make mobile top-ups or acquire SIM cards… from Telcel.
In a tour carried out by Expansión in various Oxxo convenience stores, the workers assured that they can only sell SIM cards from Telcel and Oxxo CEL, the company’s Virtual Mobile Operator.
In December of last year, the Federal Institute of Telecommunications (IFT) reported that since August 2 of last year it began an investigation for an alleged monopolistic practice in the market for the distribution and commercialization of subscriber identification modules (SIM cards) in convenience store chains,
Expansión requested information from Telcel about the investigation carried out by the IFT on this alleged antitrust practice, but declined to comment on the matter.
Although the document from the telecommunications regulator does not indicate the economic group investigated, one of the largest chains of convenience branches that sells chips is Oxxo. Expansión contacted the company to request information on whether there is an exclusivity contract between Oxxo and Telcel for the single sale of SIMs from Carlos Slim’s company in its convenience stores, to which Oxxo replied that “it has not had and does not have any contract of exclusivity with Telcel”.
Jorge Moreno Loza, a telecommunications lawyer and head of the Expanzione office, explains that favoring the distribution of Telcel chips is a concern because “it affects competition and the possibility of growth of other networks.”
As of the second quarter of this year, there were some 110 million prepaid lines (which work with credit recharges), and of that universe, Telcel operates around 67 million, that is, 61% of the total, according to data from The Ciu consultancy. .
Loza specifies that if the IFT investigation determines that the monopolistic practice exists, the sanctions would range from an economic sanction, a reprimand or could even be more specific penalties such as the revocation of the concession.
The specialist said that consumers can make a complaint in Profeco and in the IFT User platform. “Profeco could initiate a collective action against Telcel for this type of practice” warns the specialist.