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P.R. Telephone Co., parent co. to pay $1.1M FCC fine

Puerto Rico Telephone, which does business as Claro, will pay a fine along with its parent company. (Credit: © Mauricio Pascual)

Puerto Rico Telephone, which does business as Claro, will pay a fine along with its parent company. (Credit: © Mauricio Pascual)

The Federal Communications Commission announced today that Puerto Rico Telephone Company and its parent company, América Móvil of Mexico, will pay $1.1 million to resolve an investigation by the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau.

Stock purchases of América Móvil by its owner Carlos Slim Helú and his family repeatedly exceeded the FCC’s approved foreign ownership levels. This is the largest fine for a violation of foreign ownership and control limits because of the Slim family’s repeated violations, the federal regulator said.

“Foreign companies doing business in the United States and its territories must follow all federal rules, including those governing their ownership of American companies” said Enforcement Bureau Chief Travis LeBlanc.

“The FCC ensures that foreign ownership in American telecommunications carriers is in the public interest, considering issues related to competition, national security, law enforcement, foreign policy, and trade policy,” he said.

Puerto Rico Telephone Company, which does business as Claro on the island, and América Móvil, have exceeded their approved foreign ownership three times in five years.

Most recently, in June 2014, the Slim family increased its ownership in and control of América Móvil through a purchase of stock from AT&T International.

This also increased the family’s ownership in FCC licensee PRTC beyond the voting and equity interests then approved by the agency’s International Bureau in accordance with the FCC’s foreign ownership rules and policies, the FCC said.

As part of today’s settlement, PRTC and América Móvil have each agreed to adopt compliance plans to prevent future stock purchases by the Slim family that would exceed foreign ownership limits without first receiving the International Bureau’s review and approval.

The plans require both companies to develop and implement monitoring of compliance with the Commission’s rules governing foreign ownership.  The plans include designating Compliance Officers, developing a comprehensive compliance plan, and reporting regularly on compliance.

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 30 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.

1 Comment

  1. Juan A Talavera JR October 1, 2016

    Claro is an abusive entity that overcharges for services an has long distance charges within close proximity. Furthermore I was born in Puerto Rico, but speak English primarily. When request an English speaking representative 99 percent of the time someone who only speaks Spanish. If a English speaking representative is requested be prepared to wait an hour or more. This past Friday I had such an experience waited slightly over an hour. My mother died on March 31, 2016 during my stay I tried to cancel my mother’s telephone service and told I had to go to the office. When I returned on September 13, 2016 I went to the office in the Mall in Ponce, PR I was made to thirty minutes approximately and was given a rough time I signed a document and request a copy sent my address in the US I am still waiting. I also provided my mothers death certificate as proof of her passing. I am still receiving bills and paying them to avoid late charges or legal complication. In years past when I started monitoring my mothers ridiculous charges and filed a complaint with the FCC. That was a waste of time for the most part. I feel better for venting, but doubt whether or not I will have any affect. Thank You.


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