Uruguay´s Government has withdrawn permission for Claro TV to start broadcasting in the country. Carlos Slim´s company was ready to launch its DTH service in Uruguay but now the Government has decided to revoke the licence granted by telecoms regulator Ursec.
President José Mújica and the Minister of Industry Roberto Kreirmerman have based their decision on a lack of proper documentation. According to them, Claro Uruguay represents a "violation of the rules" of Uruguay´s pay-TV system. Apparently, the problems lie in the identity of the company. The only shareholder of Claro Uruguay is Metrored Holdings, which the Government says it can't satisfactorily identify.
Claro, which is active in most Latin American countries, is now considering a possible lawsuit against the Government. Claro considers that the decision breaks Uruguay´s Tribunal law which allows the company to establish a direct-to-home service in the country. Moreover, Claro points out its loss of money if it can't eventually launch the channel. "We are going to fight for the satellite television to be a service for everybody," says Horacio Alvarellos, Claro Uruguay CEO.
Since the start, Claro TV's intentions have not been welcomed by the Government or the country's other private channels. The entrance of an international company like Claro TV, which could offer lower prices, is a matter of concern for the rest of the country's TV operators.