Panama competition watchdog approves +Movil, Claro merger

29 Mar 2022

Panama’s Consumer Protection and Competition Authority (Autoridad de Proteccion al Consumidor y Defensa de la Competencia, ACODECO) has approved the proposed merger between Liberty Latin America (LLA)-backed Cable & Wireless Panama (trading as +Movil) and its smaller rival Claro Panama. The merger agreement will now be submitted to the National Public Services Authority (Autoridad Nacional de los Servicios Publicos, ASEP) for review.

Notably, the ACODECO resolution has ordered the two companies to ‘operate separately and independently’ for ten months (starting 17 March 2022) before they start to integrate back-office functions, consolidate financial reports and commence network integration.

In September 2021 the LLA subsidiary agreed to acquire Claro Panama from in an all-cash transaction valued at USD200 million. One month later rival operator Digicel Panama filed a complaint with ACODECO, complaining that the merger would lead to an ‘illegal economic concentration’.

Panama, Cable & Wireless Panama (CWP, +Movil), Claro Panama