The Uruguayan government revoked the broadcasting license of Claro Americas, a subsidiary of Carlos Slim’s America Movil, on Tuesday.
President Jose Mujica made the decision to revoke the license for reasons of “legitimacy,” with the support of the country's Regulatory Unit of Communication Services (URSEC), which in October 2008 had granted the communications license to the Mexican company to provide TV services to subscribers.
Claro is based in 16 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean and currently has 262 million subscribers in the region, 16 million of whom are paid subscribers to its television services.
Local Uruguayan companies strongly resisted Claro’s inclusion into the domestic market because of their inability to compete with its prices.
Mujica said he didn’t want “Claro, Globo, or Slim to become owners of Uruguay’s communications.” He made the comment the day the senate debated Uruguay’s communication law, with the aim of avoiding monopolies in the sector.
In Uruguay, Claro occupies 16 percent of the market with 800,000 mobile services, according to official data. Meanwhile the Uruguayan state-owned Antel leads the market with 2.34 million users, representing a 47 percent market share, while Movistar is second with 37 percent.
Slim’s global conglomerate, Grupo Carso, includes companies in communications, real estate, airlines, media, technology, retailing, and finance.
According to Forbes he is currently the third richest man in the world, with a net worth of US$67.8 billion.