TDLC orders trio to comply with SC ruling and return spectrum

16 Nov 2018

Chile’s Antitrust Tribunal (Tribunal de Defensa de la Libre Competencia, TDLC) has ordered cellcos Entel, Movistar and Claro to comply with the terms of a Supreme Court decision on the 2014 700MHz band auction and return a combined total of 70MHz of spectrum, Diario Finaciero writes. The apex court ruled in June this year that the trio had engaged in anti-competitive practices in the tender, noting that by entering bids they had ignored the maximum spectrum holding allowance of 60MHz. As such, the court ordered the three cellcos to return an amount of spectrum matching their award from the sale – 2×10MHz each for Movistar and Claro, 2×15MHz for Entel – although they were permitted to choose which frequencies to return and which to retain. Following the ruling, sector watchdog the Department of Telecommunications (Subsecretaria de Telecomunicaciones, Subtel) began the process of revising the spectrum cap and – as reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate – handed a new plan to the TDLC for approval in October this year.

In the meantime, the cellcos challenged the order to return spectrum, claiming to the TDLC that they were unable to comply with the instruction as there was no defined mechanism for the return of airwaves and arguing that the transfer was unnecessary, as Subtel was revising the spectrum limit. The watchdog has now rejected their case, and ordered the trio to comply with the Supreme Court’s order.