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Colombia Government Fines Mobile Phone Cos $448,100 for Overcharging

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BOGOTA (Dow Jones) Colombia's antitrust agency fined the local mobile units of Mexico based America Movil and Spain's Telefonica for charging higher costs when customers made phone calls from fixed lines to mobile phones.

The regulator ordered the companies to pay each COP923 million ($448,100) after finding that in 2005 they charged much higher costs for making phone calls from fixed-line to mobile phones in an effort to boost cell phone use by discouraging people from using fixed lines.

Both companies can appeal the agency's decision, the regulator said.

Natalia Cuellar, press officer at Comcel, the mobile unit of America Movil, said her company won't comment on the regulator's decision. She also declined to say whether the company will appeal the decision.

Officials at Telefonica weren't immediately available to comment.

-By Diana Delgado, Dow Jones Newswires; 571-6107044 Ext 1132; diana.delgado@dowjones.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

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Tags: telefonica  america movil  antitrust  cell phone  Colombia