Commerce ministry fines Telecom Argentina for anti-competitive conduct

Bnamericas Published: Tuesday, January 17, 2023
Commerce ministry fines Telecom Argentina for anti-competitive conduct

The commerce ministry imposed a 150mn-peso (US$827,000) fine on Telecom Argentina and Artear, both from Grupo Clarín, for anti-competitive conduct in the pay-TV market.

Telecom Argentina operates in the telephony, internet and pay-TV segments, while Artear is a content producer with open and cable television signals.

An investigation started after América Móvil, which operates under the Claro brand, filed a complaint, claiming Grupo Clarín imposed sales conditions for the Canal 13 and TN signals that prevented their acquisition.

Artear dominates open television with the Canal 13 signal and in the pay-TV segment with the TN signal.

The competition defense authority recognized "discriminatory conditions for the acquisition of transmission rights for television signals, by discretionally setting minimum subscriber amounts," which constitutes a barrier to the entry for Claro in metropolitan Buenos Aires and Córdoba and Rosario.

The investigation confirmed Telecom Argentina dominates these markets, concentrating over 50% of subscribers, while América Móvil has less than 1%.

In a statement, Telecom Argentina said it will challenge the resolution.

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