Telecom-Cablevisión merger approved in Argentina


After ten month of research and analysis, Argentina’s National Commission for the Defense of Competition (CNDC) approved the merger between Telecom and cable TV operator Cablevisión. According to a statement, the anti-trust regulator established “remedies and obligations to guarantee conditions of competition in the various services involved throughout the country.”
In this way, Telecom must return 80 Mhz of spectrum, in order to strengthen the competition in mobile telephony. The company must also divest broadband customers in 28 locations.
According to the CNDC, “the merger would have generated competition problems in locations where Cablevisión and Telecom were the only companies with fixed network. For that reason, the merged company must transfer 143,464 customers of that service in 28 locations in five provinces: Córdoba (including the capital), Buenos Aires, Entre Ríos, Misiones (including Posadas) and Santa Fe”.
The agency claims that the figure represents 9% of Arnet’s total residential customers and an annual turnover of approximately AR$ 500 million (USD 17.3 million). According to local media, the company Universo Net, which belongs to the Valentini family, will keep that broadband client portfolio.
In addition, the CNDC required the merged company not to bundle its quadruple play services for between six and twelve months, depending on the region. “In this way, competitors have more time to invest or partner to provide multiple services together with another provider,” the regulator said in its statement.
The opinion of the CNDC has about 200 pages. The document “analyzes the markets and establishes limitations to the merger operation that guarantee the care of consumer rights and, in line with international trends, promote investment and technological development in the sector. In short, it imposes obligations and makes recommendations in four levels: disinvestment, commercial offers, availability of the network and spectrum.” The merger had already been approved by Argentina’s ational Communications Agency (Enacom) in December.