Telecompaper | 22 February 2018
Telefonica files complaint to ICSID over Colombia fine
Telefonica has filed an arbitration complaint with the World Bank’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) against the Colombian arbitration fine for breaching a government contract for mobile services. In June 2017 a Colombian arbitration panel said Telefonica’s Coltel subsidiary and America Movil unit Comcel had failed to return installed telecommunication networks and infrastructure as part of agreements to provide mobile services dating back to 1994. Claro was ordered to pay USD 1.02 billion, with Telefonica having to pay USD 529.1 million.
Telefonica proceeded to pay the fine via a capital hike but said it strongly disagreed with the ruling and reserved its right to take any applicable national and international legal action to challenge the award. The Colombian government still owns 32.5 percent of Coltel following the merger of Colombia Telecomunicaciones (Coltel) and Movistar Colombia in 2012, with Telefonica owning the remaining 67.5 percent.