Telecom regulator defends ¢2.2 billion fine

The  Superintendencia de Telecomunicaciones is defending itself because it has assessed a  2.2 billion colon fine on the state telephone company for uncompetitive practices.

The legislators of the  Partido Acción Ciudana said it rejected the fine, and the Frente Interno de Trabajadores of the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad said Tuesday that the government agency was using the same lawyers who work for a private telecom company, a competitor.

The Superintendencia  denied any conflict of interest Wednesday and said that the process whereby the fine was levied was well advertised and published in the La Gaceta official newspaper.

The fine stems from an allegation that the state telecom company sold some services for less than they cost for four months during late 2011 and early 2012. The state telephone company is appealing, and the whole case probably will end up in court. The amount involved is about $4.2 million.

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