July 24, 2018 / 1:58 PM / 9 months ago

Spanish telecom company disputes merger of Argentine competitors

BUENOS AIRES, July 24 (Reuters) - Spanish telecoms company Telefonica has taken legal action against the merger of Argentine companies Cablevision and Telecom Argentina, saying the combination would cause unfair competition.

The merger was approved by Argentine regulators last month.

“Telefonica has already started the necessary legal action to fight the decision, which we consider unjust and discriminatory,” the company said in a statement late on Monday.

“We are analyzing all the international tools at our disposal to defend our rights,” it said.

Telefonica also said the merger endangered investment in the sector, and will have serious consequences for the future of Argentina’s telecom industry.

The deal was allowed after market-friendly President Mauricio Macri loosened regulations in 2017 to widen internet penetration in the country and allow local providers to integrate phone, TV, internet and wireless services. (Reporting by Walter Bianchi; Writing by Scott Squires; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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