Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Venezuela: Nationalized CANTV Cuts Phone Rates

Cantv to Cut Venezuela Mobile, Fixed-Line Phone Rates
By Alex Kennedy

May 22 (Bloomberg) -- CA Nacional Telefonos de Venezuela, the country's largest telephone company, plans to lower rates on wireless and fixed-line services as the government challenges competitors after taking over the company today.

Cantv, as the company is known, will cut mobile prices 10 percent on June 15 and 10 percent more on Aug. 15, President Hugo Chavez said in a televised speech after swearing in a new board. The company will reduce fixed-line rates in low-income areas by 10 percent for local calls, 15 percent for long- distance and eliminate the country's 11 percent value-added tax on calls in July, Chavez said.

"This puts pressure on the other mobile companies to lower their rates,'' said Andreas Faust, an analyst with Banco Mercantil in Caracas. ``The government looks like it's willing to subsidize prices in a way private companies may not.''

The government is taking on Telefonica SA's Movistar and Digitel SA in Venezuela's booming wireless phone market. Lowering tariffs will also probably cut the country's annual inflation rate, Latin America's highest, Faust said.

"In a way, the government, instead of paying a dividend to shareholders, will pay a dividend to customers,'' Faust said.
"It's a very populist move and will likely slow inflation a bit.''
The number of Cantv's mobile subscribers rose to 8.1 million on March 31 from 2.8 million on March 31, 2004, and Chavez reiterated the company's goal to have 10.5 million subscribers by the end of 2008.

"With these announcements, Cantv is starting to act like a socialist company,'' Chavez said in a televised speech in Caracas. ``It's not about the money earnings, but rather the social earnings.''
Cantv shares closed up 230 bolivars, or 6.1 percent, to 4,000 bolivars on the Caracas Stock Exchange.



Blogger Karamchand said...

Mijo, eso se llama dumping, Chávez no quiere beneficiar a los consumidores, él quiere quedarse solo con todo, para poder, como el dictador cubano, chantajear a su antojo a los venezolanos. Cuando las otras compañías no puedan o no quieran seguir el juego de Chávez, se irán, esas no les interesa la política, les interesa el cash, se irán y eso es lo que busca Chávez. Ver para creer.

10:33 PM  
Blogger Renegade Eye said...

I was doing some research, and came across this fine blog. It had the answers I needed.

At my blog there is a big discussion of the RCTV issue. I hope you'll comment on.

11:24 PM  
Blogger jsb said...

CANTV has been blocking access to opposition sites to users in Caracas during protests this week. But then you support these nationalizations and centralized control, don't you?

8:43 AM  
Blogger leftside said...

JSB, provide sone proof of this. I can find nothing to substantiate this claim.

8:42 AM  
Blogger jsb said...

But you support this kind of action. Readers should be aware that you support Cuba jamming broadcasts of american radio and television and that you support the filtering of the internet to keep anti-castro sites from being read by cubans. Also, readers should know that you support Cuba's model of an all state-run media and wish the same for Venezuela and America.

Readers, he is a communist. And as such, you should see his posts through that lens.

4:47 AM  
Blogger leftside said...

You are ridiculous JSB...

This link proves nothing of the sort you were alleging about censorship in Venezuela.

Yes, I support Cuba's right to defend itself from internationally condemned illegal broadcasting attacks, which attempt to override popular Cuban radio and TV stations with US Govt propoganda. I also support a diverse, responsible media and am not a Communist, but thanks for the warnings...

8:09 AM  
Blogger jsb said...

You support TOTAL government control over ALL media, as in the Cuban model. Don't kid yourself. Prove me wrong. Tell me you DON'T support the total control of ALL media in Cuba. Just tell me. And I'll take it back.

12:20 PM  
Blogger jsb said...

Thought so. I stand by my MTV/Cnn and internet remark.

4:36 AM  
Blogger leftside said...

JSB, it is not a one sentence answer, though I tried above. Private media can be ok, most of our national newspapers are a fine example. Media should have a higher purpose than just profits and be community controlled. Most US TV stations would fail the kind of community service criteria I and many others think the FCC should enforce. MTV and CNN would probably do just fine under that. They acknowledge their public responsibility. Media workers should have a voice, not just the rich owners. Community and public media is the only way to assure profit concerns do not dominate content, but it is not impossible with good regulation.

In Cuba, the history of the media is facinating if you cared to look. (I disagree with the conclusions in this piece but the facts are there). Cuba's media was freed by the Revolution from the blatant censorship under Batista. However the bribes that many stations received from Batista ($450,000 a month was spent on friendly journalists, editors and publishers) were removed and the unpopular tendencies of some media left them without readers or viewers in short order. Most outlets folded up to Miami because they could not compete. 5 were indeed confiscated because of their past unethical finincial relationship with Batista (all individuals and orgs. in all fields that received ilicit money to hide abuses of the dictatorship were tried under the law). Some were found to have links with the CIA funded terrorists. None were shuttered for gagged by the Revolution outside of this law. Eventually the remaining private papers merged. Newsroom disputes between unhappy workers and management erupted to send the last 2 publishers packing.

9:42 AM  
Blogger jsb said...

Cuba has no private media because it is not allowed, not because the media voluntarily packed up and left. Your gullibility has reached new heights. If you and your kind ever, ever try to do the same here, expect resistance. You won't be allowed to impose your "revolution" on others. Please, move to North Korea or Cuba and stop enjoying the fruits of the empire, you hypocrite.

9:18 AM  

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