The owner of America Movil (AM), Carlos Slim, has dismissed claims by Colombian lawmakers that that its local unit Claro Colombia – known locally as Comcel – represents a threat to competition in the market and should be more heavily regulated, Dow Jones Newswires reports. Slim attributed the company’s dominance in Colombian wireless sector to ‘customer preference.’ Claro’s hold on the market has been described by some government officials as a ‘near monopoly’ and has led to the suggestion that the telco be reined in by excluding it from participating in the upcoming auction of 4G licences. Slim warned that AM’s exclusion from proceedings would harm the nation’s reputation and deter further investment, adding that he did not think Claro’s near-30 million subscribers should be denied access to the new technology. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, at end-June 2012, Claro represented 62.6% of the mobile market with 29.375 million subscribers, compared to 26.3% held by its closest rival, Telefonica’s Movistar.
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