Telecom Argentina Appeals Probe Extension in Telefonica Case
Published on: 12th April 2008
BUENOS AIRES -(Dow Jones)- Telecom Argentina has appealed a judge's decision to extend the term of a monitor placed inside the company to assess whether Spanish company Telefonica's stake in its Italian parent creates a conflict of interest in Argentina.
Telecom Argentina said it appealed the court order in a brief statement filed late Friday with the Buenos Aires Stock Exchange.
The court order was originally issued in February at the request of Gerardo Werthein, along with others. Werthein holds a 48% stake in Sofora, which indirectly controls Telecom Argentina, and in which Telecom Italia controls a further 50%.
The company said in February that the court-ordered monitor would also investigate Sofora, its affiliate Nortel Inversora, and Telecom Personal, Telecom Argentina's cellphone subsidiary.
The monitor was originally given two months to assess the situation, but a judge recently extended that term to conclude 10 days after Telecom Argentina's and Nortel's annual assemblies, Telecom Argentina said in Friday's statement.
Telecom Argentina's assembly will be held April 29.
Telefonica's purchase of a minority stake in Telecom Italia last year raised concerns about a threat to competition and a conflict of interest in Argentina's telecommunications sector and provoked speculation that the antitrust regulator may take measures. Telefonica de Argentina is Telecom Argentina's primary fixed line and cellphone competitor in the country.
-By Drew Benson, Dow Jones Newswires; 5411-4311-3127; email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires