Uruguayan businessman Edgardo Novick, minority shareholder of Supercanal, a pay TV and internet operator in 17 Argentine provinces, offered around USD 400 million for the purchase of Movistar Uruguay. Novick is also president of the “Partido de la Gente” party, a political force that is part of the Uruguayan government coalition.
Last July, the country’s Communications Service Regulatory Unit (URSEC) reported that the company, which only provides mobile services in the region, has 31% of the population’s lines, while Antel has 51% already Claro 18%.
In April, Uruguayan President Lacalle Pou called a meeting with Novick and other party leaders from his government’s coalition. Later, when the shareholder’s offer for Movistar Uruguay was confirmed, the existence of a conflict of interest was evaluated since one of the partners could compete with Antel, a leader in telecommunications in the country. However, the Executive Branch affirmed that it “does not have the powers” to intervene in the purchase.