Une and Tigo must return part of the radio spectrum to be integrated

With this condition, the Superindustria approved the merger between the two mobile operators.

April 21, 2014

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The Superintendency of Industry and Commerce (SIC), by Resolution No. 24527 of 15 April 2014 authorized the enterprise integration (merger) between Une and Tigo, on condition of returning to the Nation, a portion of the radio spectrum that today include both companies.

Currently, Une and Tigo have 135 Megahertz (MHz) of radio spectrum; there is a legal limit of 85 MHz, which is why they should return to the nation 50 Mhz in the deadlines specified by the Superindustria.

In this sense, the SIC established a maximum period of eight months for the companies mentioned report to the Ministry of Information Technologies and Communications (MinTIC) and Superindustria, what radio spectrum they will return, identifying frequency bands and the MHz.

Once it is identified and informed the radio spectrum that will be return, the companies involved will have two years and four months to complete the return.

According to the SIC, the conditioning is established in order to restore the level of competition prevailing in the market before the operation, and foster compliance in the ceilings of radio spectrum in the telecommunications market in Colombia.

Obligation to comply with the conditions and consequences

The conditions imposed by the SIC, in the permits enterprise integrations, are binding and its omission can lead to the reversal of the operation and subsequent penalties of up to $ 61,600 million, equivalent to 100000 Wages Legal Monthly Minimum (SMLMV) for integrated entities and up to $1,232 million, equivalent to 2000 (SMLMV), for individuals who violate compliance with the conditions.

"This decision is based on Articles 9 and 11 of Law 1340 of 2009 (New Competition Act), which state that the SIC is empowered to authorize the performance of grasping integration constraints. The same rule warns that constraints seek to isolate or eliminate the anticompetitive effect that would produce integration, and implement structural measures with respect to the operation," said the SIC.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoints of Activo Legal Ltda.