TI lodges appeal against Argentine antitrust ruling

14 Jan 2010

Italian telecoms operator Telecom Italia (TI) has appealed Argentina’s antitrust ruling that it must sell its 50% stake in Sofora, the holding company that controls fixed line incumbent Telecom Argentina, claiming competition issues concerned its key shareholder Telco, Reuters reports. As reported by CommsUpdate, the Argentine government last week ordered TI to sell its stake in Sofora by 25 February or face intervention in the process, as its shareholding violates antitrust legislation; Spain’s Telefonica, which acquired a 24.7% stake in the Italian firm through Telco in October 2007, already owns Argentina’s other fixed line operator Telefonica de Argentina causing cross-ownership issues. ‘In Argentina (there) is taking place a clear violation of rights and damage to the legacy of an Italian group which has operated successfully in the country for 15 years,’ TI said in a statement, adding, ‘The company is unconnected with the breaches allegedly committed by the parties involved in the Telco transaction. Each and every ruling reached thus far by the Argentine authorities concerning the divestment of assets is illegitimate and unjust.’ Telco has also appealed the Argentine decision.