Record-breaking fine for late filing in Argentina

The Secretary of Domestic Trade of Argentina imposed the highest fine ever for not having filed a transaction since the antitrust control regime was established in 1999. Telefónica will have to pay a fine of AR$ 104.6 MM (approx. US$ 27 MM) for not filing the 2007 acquisition of Olimpia. Five other companies involved in the transaction were also sanctioned for failing to file said acquisition on due time, making a combined total of AR$ 241 MM (approx. U$S63 MM).

The antitrust authorities understood that by this transaction Telefónica had obtained a controlling position vis-a-vis Telecom Argentina and therefore ordered the involved parties to file for antitrust approval. In August 2009, the Secretary of Domestic Trade rejected the transaction and postponed the decision on whether to sanction the parties for not having filed in time.

This fine, which the antitrust authorities promised that would be “exemplary”, is significantly higher than the previous highest late filing fine of AR$ 832,500 (approx. U$S 270,000 at that time) imposed in 2006. The parties appealed the fine.

For further information on this topic please contact Julián Peña