Enacom conditions Cablevisión-Telecom Argentina deal on spectrum forfeit

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Friday, December 22, 2017

Argentina's telecoms regulator Enacom has approved the merger of Cablevisión Holding and Telecom Argentina with a series of restrictions, including the requirement to return 80MHz to the state.

The merger also requires approval from anti-trust body Comisión Nacional de Defensa de la Competencia.

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Enacom's move enables Telecom Argentina to transfer its spectrum to Cablevisión, which will control the merged entity. With the merger, the company will end up with 220MHz of spectrum, above the 140MHz limit – meaning 80MHz spectrum must be returned.

Furthermore, in cities where Telecom has a significant market position, the merged company will have to provide the same offerings it currently has in the highly competitive Buenos Aires metropolitan area market.

The merged telco will become the largest in the country and a formidable competitor with quadruple play services that telcos can begin offering on January 1 in the Buenos Aires metropolitan area and the cities of Córdoba and Rosario.

Enacom extended until January 1, 2019 regulation that prevents large telcos from entering with quadruple play services in any municipalities with fewer than 80,000 residents, with a view to giving local telecoms co-ops time to prepare for the heightened competition.

The regulator also confirmed a 2016 resolution requiring telcos to charge the same cost for a service, whether sold individually or bundled, to avoid pressuring customers into opting for more than one service. Companies will also be required to share infrastructure with third parties.