QUITO, June 6 America Movil subsidiary
Claro must pay $123 million in back taxes to Ecuador as part of
a settlement to a lengthy legal battle between the company and
the Andean country, said a local official quoted by an
Ecuadorean newspaper on Friday.
Ecuador's Supreme Court sided with the government in the
dispute, ruling that the telecommunications giant still had
taxes owing for the 2003 to 2006 period.
"In this case the court ruled in favor of the state, so we
are expecting the company will proceed to pay the balance that
they owe," the director of the country's tax agency, Ximena
Amoroso, told local newspaper El Telegrafo.
Representatives for Claro were not immediately available to
The ruling is part of a six-year ongoing legal battle
between the country and Claro, which last year paid Ecuador
$113.5 million for taxes owed between 2003 and 2006. The
government, however, contended that Claro owed additional funds.
The decision also requires the company to pay $29 million in
worker compensation. It was not clear whether this amount was
included in the $123 million fine or if it was separate.
Claro is Ecuador's biggest mobile operator, with a 67.8
percent market share and about 17.8 million subscribers. Its
parent company, America Movil, is controlled by Mexican
billionaire Carlos Slim.
Multinational Telefonica's Ecuador subsidiary has
28.86 percent of the cellphone market, according to the state
telecoms regulator, while the state company CNT has the
remaining 3.28 percent.
CNT recently won a complaint against Claro for
anti-competitive practices, for which the company was fined
(Reporting by Alexandra Valencia, writing by Julia Symmes Cobb;
Editing by Nick Zieminski)