Spanish telecoms group Telefonica has taken legal action against the merger of Telecom Argentina and Cablevision, arguing that the combination will distort the competitive landscape. Telefonica – which offers mobile and fixed line services in the country via its Movistar and Telefonica de Argentina (TdA) units – also said the merger endangers investment prospects in the sector, and will have serious consequences for the future of Argentina’s telecoms industry. The company stated: ‘Telefonica has already started the necessary legal action to fight the decision, which we consider unjust and discriminatory … We are analysing all the international tools at our disposal to defend our rights.’
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, Argentina’s National Commission for Defence of Competition (Comision Nacional de Defensa de la Competencia, CNDC) approved the takeover last month, after an exhaustive ten-month review. The CNDC assessed that the merger would generate competition problems in locations where Cablevision and Telecom are the only companies operating fixed line networks. As such, the merged company was asked to divest 143,464 customers across 28 locations in five provinces, namely: Cordoba, Buenos Aires, Entre Rios, Misiones (including Posadas) and Santa Fe.