Telecom Italia to fight order to exit Argentina
Telecom Italia has announced it will appeal against an Argentine Competition Authority order that it must sell its stake in Telecom Argentina parent company Sofora SA.
The authority has ruled that Telecom Italia has too much power in the local telecom market. The operator has indirect ties to Telefonica SA, which controls Telecom Argentina's main competitor, Telefonica de Argentina.
The authority has given Telecom Italia until August 25 to divest its stake in Sofora, and has threatened to take a more active role if no action has been taken by February 25.
But Telecom Italia has vowed to fight the order. “It is Telecom Italia’s conviction that each and every ruling reached thus far by the Argentine authorities concerning the divestment of its assets is illegitimate and unjust,” the company said in a statement.
“In Argentina is taking place a clear violation of rights and damage to the legacy of an Italian Group which has operated successfully in the country for 15 years,” CEO Franco Bernabe added.
The company has said it had no involvement in the alleged breaches the authority's order is based on, and has filed a petition for the resolution to be declared null and void.
Telecom Italia owns half of Sofora, with the other half owned by Argentine company the Werethein Group.