Govt fines TdA USD27.3 million

7 Jan 2010

The government of Argentina has fined fixed line incumbent Telefonica de Argentina (TdA) ARS104 million (USD27.3 million) due to the operator’s failure to notify antitrust authorities about ownership changes that could have affected competition in the telecoms market, BNamericas reports citing local press. ‘A fine has been imposed on those Argentine companies that as a result of this international takeover have changed ownership within our country,’ local press quoted Argentina’s economy minister Amado Boudou as saying. He added that the government will set a timeline in February for Telefonica to define an ownership change. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Spanish telecoms group Telefonica acquired the remaining 1.8% in its Argentine subsidiary TdA that it did not already own in June 2009, offering one Argentinean peso a share – or its equivalent in US dollars – for the roughly 126 million shares. However, the Spanish group also controls an indirect stake in the country’s other fixed line incumbent, Telecom Argentina, via holding company Telco, which has a controlling stake in Telecom Italia (TI). TI holds a 50% stake in Sofora – the company which controls Telecom Argentina – while the remainder is owned by Argentina’s Grupo Werthein.

Argentina, Telecom Argentina (incl. Cablevision), Telefonica, Telefonica Argentina (Movistar)