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Tigo sues Honduran unit of Slim's America Movil in ad dispute

Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim attends a presentation of a digital platform, which was created in partnership with the Carlos Slim Foundati
Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim attends a presentation of a digital platform, which was created in partnership with the Carlos Slim Foundati

By Gustavo Palencia

TEGUCIGALPA (Reuters) - Honduran telecoms company Tigo, a part of Sweden's Millicom, said on Wednesday it is suing main local rival Claro, a unit of Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim's America Movil, for what it called an "unfair" advertising campaign.

Tigo said it is seeking damages of 280 million lempiras ($13 million) from Claro, which it accuses of putting out "abusive propaganda that denigrates and discredits (its) products and services" and is tantamount to "unfair competition."

In Honduras since 1986, Tigo dominates the cellphone market with 4.9 million of the country's 7.5 million users, according to Honduras' telecoms regulator Conatel. Claro has the rest.

Claro has launched a publicity campaign supporting new measures, which come into effect at the end of April, that would allow users to change provider while keeping the same number.

The new regulation could lead to at least 10 percent of users switching their network, according to Conatel estimates.

A spokeswoman for Claro declined to comment on the case.

(Writing by Gabriel Stargardter; Editing by Richard Chang)

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