Colombia’s Comcel Reportedly Halts Ads for Internet Calls

Comunicacion Celular SA, Colombia’s second-biggest cellular phone company, reportedly has agreed to halt advertising for its cut-price international Internet calls as the government opened an inquiry into the service, according to published reports.

As three government agencies opened inquiries, the municipally owned Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Bogota and the state-owned long-distance company Telecom, both minority shareholders in Comcel, called a Christmas Day meeting to demand that the company respect their right to have a say in its decisions, Bloomberg News quoted the El Tiempo newspaper in Bogota as saying.

The government has the power to strip Comcel, controlled by Montreal-based Bell Canada International, of its license if it finds the company has acted illegally by offering Internet-routed calls, the newspaper said.

Last week, Comcel began advertising that it was offering Internet calls anywhere in the world at any hour at a rate of 770 pesos ($0.51) a minute, about half the rate of the three regular providers.

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