Cellcos Claro Dominicana and Trilogy Dominicana (Viva) have filed a complaint against telecoms watchdog Instituto Dominicano de las Telecomunicaciones’ (Indotel’s) approval for the sale of Orange Dominicana to Luxembourg-based investment fund Altice Group. The Dominican Today reports that the two network operators objected to the transaction by claiming that Altice seeks ‘economic control over the telecoms sector’ in the country, following its acquisition of a majority stake in domestic integrated telecoms services provider Tricom. Claro and Viva also noted that ‘the economic concentration would violate rules of free enterprise and is tantamount to unfair competition in the sector’. The regulator has reportedly rejected both objections.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, in November 2013 Altice Caribbean, a subsidiary of Altice Group, signed an agreement to acquire Tricom for USD400 million. In addition, towards the end of the month, Paris-based Orange Group agreed to sell its Orange Dominicana unit to Altice for EUR1.1 billion. In December 2013 Altice CEO Patrick Drahi revealed that Tricom and Orange Dominicana will be merged within a seven-month period, once the takeover of the two companies has been finalised. After several months of negotiations, March 2014 saw Indotel grant its approval for the sale of Tricom, with the Orange deal green-lit earlier this month.