Did you know that Carlos Slim, arguably the richest man in the world, bought TELMEX (when he was not the richest man in the world) in 1990 when the then-president, Carlos Salinas Gortari, put the country's phone system up for privatization? He and a group of investors bought it with a consortium of investors including Southwestern Bell. Today TELMEX controls 90% of the land lines in Mexico, TELCEL owns almost 80% of cell phones and the majority (I can't remember the percentage) of broadband internet access. Incidentally, Ed Whittaker, head of SBC, now once again AT&T) invested 1 billion in the 1990 purchase; it is now worth 10 billion. Slim owns América Móvil, the company which has been spreading its tentacles through the communications industry of Latin America. And a lot of other stuff.
Señor Slim (Wikipedia)
Slim and a lot of other rich Americans and Mexicans are the beneficiaries of gaping exceptions in NAFTA which you can read about here and in a lot of other places. Free trade you think?
Forbes reports that he owns his 64 billion dollar fortune in a country where the average annual income is under $7000 (dollars). It adds that if he lived in the US, to reflect the disparity between his worth and the income of an average American, he would have to be worth 684 billion dollars. Yikes. In Mexico, his worth is greater than that of the lowest 45% of the country's population combined. There are about 109 million Mexicans, for reference.
Meanwhile, in our colonia, I would imagine well over 50% of the inhabitants can't afford phones; cell phones don't work here. The colonia's schools don't have internet access. I connect via a shaky TELMEX broadband connection. I was told we can't get anything better here because it wouldn't be profitable for the company to provide the swatch of settlement we live in with it. Can you imagine? I wonder how much it would cost Slim to wire the whole country for broadband access.
Finally, according to Wikipedia, On 10 September 2008 Slim announced that he had purchased a 6.4% common-stock stake in The New York Times Company, making him the largest shareholder not related to the company's owners, the Sulzberger family. And you had your eye on Rupert Murdoch.