Gold rush: government given two weeks to defend PT share

7 Jun 2007

The European Commission has given Portugal’s government two weeks to mount a defence of its golden share in Portugal Telecom (PT), before the case is taken to the European Court of Justice, reports local journal Diario Economico, citing unnamed sources at the Commission. Brussels has opposed state-held golden shares and powers of veto in private companies, considering them an obstacle to competition and free markets. Portugal’s government has previously defended its power of veto in PT on the grounds that it is protecting the independence and coverage of telecoms services in the country and that the incumbent is essential to national technological development. Public Works and Communications Minister Mario Lino has said that he intends to reach an agreement with the European Commission on the golden share in PT this month.

Portugal, Altice Portugal (MEO)