After an exhaustive ten-month review of the merger between Cablevision and Telecom Argentina, Argentina’s National Commission for Defence of Competition (Comision Nacional de Defensa de la Competencia, CNDC) has approved the takeover, albeit with a number of caveats.
The CNDC has assessed that the merger will generate competition problems in locations where Cablevision and Telecom are the only companies operating fixed line networks. As such, the merged company must agree to divest 143,464 customers across 28 locations in five provinces, namely: Cordoba, Buenos Aires, Entre Rios, Misiones (including Posadas) and Santa Fe.
In addition, the CNDC ruling requires Telecom to offer wholesale broadband connectivity through a reference offer, so that other operators can provide fixed line services using the Telecom network.
As per the initial approval issued by the National Entity for Communications (Ente Nacional de Comunicaciones, ENACOM) on 21 December 2017, the combined entity is also obliged to hand back an 80MHz block of spectrum, as the enlarged telco’s frequency holdings will surpass the current 140MHz spectrum limit.