Chile’s National Economic Prosecutor’s Office (Fiscalia Nacional Economica, FNE) has decided to extend the analysis period for its consideration of the proposed acquisition of Entel’s fibre infrastructure assets by OnNet Fibra, the wholesale fibre infrastructure provider spun out from Movistar and now a joint venture between the telco and KKR. The authority began its investigation into the potential impact of the transaction on competition in the markets for wholesale fibre-optic access services and retail fixed broadband services on 31 January 2023 and has found that the purchase ‘could substantially reduce competition’. As such, the FNE has extended its investigation for a period of up to 90 days, to allow it time to gather additional information, assess possible risks and to analyse eventual efficiencies and other possible counterweights that the concentration may generate in the market, enabling the FNE to corroborate or rule out the risks it has detected.
The FNE noted that the risks result from the increase in OnNet’s market share, which could enable it to raise prices or deteriorate service quality. The authority said it also detected the potential for Movistar’s competitors in the retail space to see an increase in costs through a price increase or a blocking of access to an important input to provide services.
As previously reported by CommsUpdate, Entel agreed to sell its fibre infrastructure division to OnNet Fibra for around USD358 million. The combined fibre assets of the two firms would provide coverage of around 3.9 million homes, rising to 4.3 million by the end of 2024.