A senior official in Colombia’s Ministry of Information Technologies and Communications is being investigated by the country’s Attorney General’s Office in relation to the country’s recent spectrum auction.
Citing “alleged inconsistencies in the Partners selection process”, the AG’s Office has asked MinTIC (Ministerio de Tecnologias de la Informacion y las Comunicaciones) to delay issuing spectrum rights while it determines whether Partners – a bidding vehicle for Novator Partners – met required transparency and objectivity standards.
A statement from the AG’s Office noted that the official in question was under investigation for allegedly granting more relaxed bidding terms to capital funds – including Novator Partners –than to other potential bidders. Additionally, the office aims to determine how much the government will receive following the December 2019 auction.
Novator Partners is headquartered in London and owns Chilean newcomer WOM. The firm entered the Colombian 2500MHz spectrum auctions and bid on Blocks 2, 5 and 6. However, it colossally overbid on Block 2 by mistake, bidding COP1.748 trillion (USD534.2 million) compared to COP293.2 billion and COP173.5 billion for the other blocks respectively.
While Novator has asked MinTIC to revoke this bid, the ministry is still mulling the request and has not come to a conclusion.