Altice threatens to slash investment in Portugal

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The Dutch telecommunications company Altice has threatened to reduce investment in Portugal.

The threat comes after Anacom lowered its maximum prices for submarine cable electronic communications circuits between Portugal’s Islands of the Azores and Madeira.

The threat was made in a communiqué issued on  Tuesday by Altice which is currently led by Alexandre Fonseca in Portugal.

Altice refers to a regulator which is “not stimulating the communications sector.”

“Altice Portugal is reacting with puzzlement and concern after the publication on 8 November of a new draft decision foreseeing yet another reduction in the maximum price of submarine cable electronic circuits between Portugal and the Autonomous Regions of Madeira and the Azores as well as the inter-island circuits,” states the company.

In question is the approval by the regulator of a reduction in the maximum prices of the circuits between mainland Portugal and the Autonomous Regions of the Azores and Madeira (CAM circuits) by 10% and the inter-island circuits between the various islands of the Azores (inter-isle circuits) by 6%.

Altice says that this is the third price reduction in just three years: 50% in 2015, a new reduction of 72% in 2016 and now a further 10%.

“Taking into account the position of the regulator, apparently focused essentially on Altice Portugal, there is a clear risk of a reduction in investment from this group in the Portuguese economy, thanks to the artificial reduction in the company’s profitability which results from this type of decision by a regulator that has done nothing to stimulate the communications sector to grow.”

Altice also criticised the timing of the announcement of the decision while the Web Summit was on in Lisbon.