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March 25, 1996

SPANISH GOVERNMENT TO REPAY AIRTEL $686M

By CBR Staff Writer

The European Commission is to order the Spanish government to repay $686m to the Airtel consortium running the country’s second cellular network, or otherwise compensate the AirTouch Communications Inc-led consortium, which also includes two major Spanish banks and British Telecommunications Plc. Airtel bid $681m in the public competition for the second cellular phone license. At the same time, state-controlled Telefonica de Espana SA was not charged a fee to operate the original celullar system. Commission officials said Spain had two months either to abolish the fee imposed on Airtel, ask Telefonica to pay the same amount, or negotiate other compensation measures with Airtel.

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