Carlos Slim: The NYT‘s Sugar Daddy Not So Sweet on the Press

16slim.2.650.jpgMeet Carlos Slim Helu the man who provided the New York Times with its current $250 million lifeboat. He has a “complex relationship” with the news media — he declined to be interviewed for the NYT article about him — and is “notoriously thin-skinned.”

With telecommunications, retailing and construction companies under his command, Mr. Slim looms large over the media landscape in his country. Notoriously thin-skinned, he does not have to pick up the phone and bellow at those who publish and broadcast something he does not like. His vast resources often translate into less-than-critical coverage.

Behind the scenes, though, he deploys a team of lawyers to fight efforts by the government to enforce antitrust laws against him.

The country’s Federal Competition Commission is looking into Mr. Slim’s companies. But the agency is outspent and outmanned by Mr. Slim. His companies “spend more on a single case than our entire annual budget,” said an official at the commission, who insisted on anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about agency matters.

With last month’s loan Slim’s stake in the company could grow from 6.9 percent to 17 percent, though the Times points out he will receive “no representation on the company’s board and no shares with special voting rights.” Still, it all makes micropayments etc. look slightly more attractive, doesn’t it?