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Argentina punishes Telefónica for blackout

Fernández de Kirchner orders Spanish telecoms giant to pay 31.5 million euros in compensation

The government of President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner has ordered Spanish telecoms giant Telefónica to pay 180 million pesos (31.5 million euros) in compensation to its clients in Argentina for a breakdown in its system that affected 16 million cellphone users and also fixed-line customers at the start of last month.

Federal Planning Minister Julio de Vido said the National Commission for Telecommunications had also fined Telefónica six million pesos (one million euros) for the service blackout.

De Vido oversaw the recent nationalization of Spanish oil company Repsol’s Argentinean unit, YPF.

The government had threatened to “impose” the maximum fine on Telefónica.