December 21, 2017 / 8:48 PM / 2 months ago

UPDATE 1-Argentina regulator approves Telecom/Cablevision merger -source

(Adds additional conditions of the merger, background)

By Eliana Raszewski

BUENOS AIRES, Dec 21 (Reuters) - Argentina’s communications regulator, Enacom, has approved the merger of Telecom Argentina SA and cable TV provider Cablevision SA, a source at Enacom with knowledge of the decision told Reuters on Thursday.

As a condition of the merger, the combined company will need to divest 80 of its estimated 220 megahertz to avoid exceeding the government airwaves limit of 140 megahertz for a single company, the source said. The merger still needs approval from Argentina’s CNDC antitrust regulator as well.

The two companies announced their intention to merge earlier this year in a move that would enable them to offer so-called quadruple play services, following a policy change by market-friendly President Mauricio Macri’s government that allows phone companies to also offer pay television services.

Other conditions of the deal include a ban on quadruple play packages - which include landline, cellphone, cable and internet services - in cities with less than 80,000 residents, and a requirement that the company operate as a wholesaler in locations where it has a dominant position.

Reporting by Eliana Raszewski; Editing by Steve Orlofsky; Writing by Luc Cohen; Editing by Chris Reese

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