Telefónica Móviles’ buyout of BellSouth subsidiaries runs into trouble

12 Mar 2004

Telefónica Móviles’ attempts to purchase the ten Latin American mobile units of US operator BellSouth could face a stumbling block following confirmation by the Chilean regulator Subtel that the deal with face intense scrutiny from the country’s antimonopoly commission, the CRA. Between them BellSouth and Telefónica have 3.6 million wireless customers in Chile, which would give the merged entity a 48% market share – more than enough to alert the CRA. Additional problems have cropped up in Argentina where the two company’s mobile units possess more than 80MHz of cellular and PCS spectrum between them, meaning a merged cellco would hold more than the 50MHz spectrum cap imposed by the regulator.