Bloomberg News

Liberty’s Malone Fined for Holding Stake in DirecTV Chile

January 02, 2012

(Updates with details of case in third paragraph)

Dec. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Chile’s antitrust tribunal fined John C. Malone, the billionaire owner of Liberty Media Corp., $3.6 million for failing to abide by conditions imposed on the merger of his cable-television company with a competitor.

The tribunal, known as TDLC, said Malone would face additional sanctions if he doesn’t sell within six months his direct and indirect stakes in satellite-television provider DirecTV Chile SA, a rival of Liberty’s VTR Globalcom SA, according to a statement posted on the tribunal’s website.

Chile’s National Economic Prosecutor sued Malone in 2008, arguing that when VTR received approval to merge with cable TV operator Metropolis Intercom SA in 2004, it had agreed not to own stakes in other paid TV operators in the country.

Liberty acquired an interest in DirecTV in 2008 from Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.

“Mr. Malone was aware of the conditions imposed on the merger, and still maintains a stake in DirecTV Chile even after being warned by the National Economic Prosecutor,” the TDLC wrote in its ruling.

Courtnee Ulrich, a spokeswoman for Englewood, Colorado- based Liberty, didn’t respond to a request for comment.

--Editors: Richard Richtmyer, Brendan Walsh

To contact the reporter on this story: Eduardo Thomson in Santiago at ethomson1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Attwood at jattwood3@bloomberg.net


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