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Argentina: Government greenlights Telecom and Nextel sales

 |  March 8, 2016

Argentina’s new communications regulator, ENACOM, led by Miguel de Godoy, has approved the sale of a majority stake in Telecom Argentina to rival Fintech, as well as the purchase of Nextel by Clarin media group’s Cablevision company. Although the operations are still awaiting the authorization from the newly-revamped Competition Commission (CNDC), the government has given uncommon celerity to both operations, implying a drastic shakeup of the country’s telecommunications industry.

ENACOM’s first month has seen the agency do away with much of the work of its predecessor, AFTIC. The agency, created by the previous administration’s communications law, had rejected both transactions. ENACOM reversed this decision justifying it under the Urgency and Necessity decree issued by the new government.

Fintech, an investment company owned by Mexican investor David Martínez, will become the majority shareholder at Telecom Argentina and its affiliates, including Personal and Arnet. Fintech will pay $960 million to current owner Telecom Italia, which will fully leave Argentina and remain only in an advisory role.

The companies involved all possess wide infrastructure networks across the country: Telecom is one of the two leaders in fixed-line telephone services, while Personal is one of three companies which dominate 96% of the mobile phone market. Cablevisión is the leader in pay TV, to which it now adds Nextel and two of the country’s leading broadband providers.

Full content: Ambito

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