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Mercados

El Salvador lays conditions for America Movil's planned $315 mln acquisitions

SAN SALVADOR, Aug 18 (Reuters) - El Salvador’s antitrust authority said on Tuesday it will allow an expanded market share for telecommunications firm Claro, a unit of Mexico’s America Movil, on guarantees that it will abide by competition and consumer protection safeguards.

America Movil, controlled by the family of Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim, aims to acquire for $315 million two units of Spain’s Telefonica that operate in the Central American country which could generate “limits on competition,” El Salvador’s Competition Superintendent (SC) said in a statement.

The two Telefonica units are Telefonica Moviles El Salvador and Telefonica Multiservicios, both of which operate under the Movistar brand and belong to Telefonica Centroamerica Inversiones.

“If Claro complies with the conditions, it will be able to execute the purchase,” according to a statement from the antitrust agency, which added that it seeks to ensure market competition.

In order to complete the acquisitions, Claro must rule out the future use of the portion of the spectrum currently used by Movistar, which must be certified by authorities.

Once the acquisition is completed, Claro must also keep for seven years “all of the marketing strategies developed by Movistar and by Claro,” according to the SC statement, but noted that Claro could improve its pricing plans for consumers.

America Movil said in a filing on Tuesday with Mexico’s main stock exchange it had been notified of the conditions and was analyzing the ruling.

It is seeking to acquire 99.3% of Telefonica Moviles El Salvador but has not detailed the percentage of Telefonica Multiservicios it wants to buy. (Reporting by Nelson Renteria in San Salvador; Additional reporting by Noe Torres in Mexico City; Writing by David Alire Garcia; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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