State telecom giant acquires cable TV firm

The state power and telecom company said Thursday that it had completed the acquisition of 100 percent of the stock of Cable vision de Costa Rica CVCR S.A.

The deal had been in the works since March 2011 and required approval from the Comisión para Promover la Competencia, which eventually issued a 17-page favorable report.

The commission is within the Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Comercio.

Authorization also had to be obtained from the Superintendencia de Telecomunicaciones. Both agencies were worried about the concentration of the cable television and Internet marketplace. However, the commission noted that Cable Vision operates in a limited section of the Central Valley and only has about 15 percent of the country’s cable subscribers.

Cable vision offers Internet service in conjunction with Radiográfica Costarricense, S.A., a subsidiary of the telecom giant and the new owner, the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad.

The company known as ICE said the cable firm would operate as a subsidiary. It also noted in its filing that it did not offer cable television services, just Internet, and it has the infrastructure to do so.

ICE said taking over the firm was part of its marketing strategy in the face of the entry of private operators into the telecom market.

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