Grupo Clarín continues to amass power and is on the verge of creating a communications mega-giant that will be the first to offer quadruple play (cable TV, internet, telephone and cell phone service) in Argentina.
Communications regulator Enacom unanimously approved the merger between Telecom and Cablevisión on Thursday, lifting the secondto- last regulatory hurdle. Now, antitrust regulator CNDC has 45 business days to rule whether the merger will create market distortions. The deal is all but sealed, as Telecom’s major shareholder, Mexican hedge funder David Martinez, is also Grupo Clarín’s partner in Cablevisión. Clarin’s lobbying machine, which some argue is assisted by favourable coverage for the Mauricio Macri administration, appears to have convinced regulators of the deal, who in turn blocked telco operators Claro and Telefónica from offering cable TV until 2018.
The juggernaut will count with some 30 million subscribers and reach a market capitalisation of US$11 billion.