Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Panama sells Carlos Slim, Digicel mobile licenses

PANAMA CITY, May 7 (Reuters) - Panama awarded Irish-backed Digicel Panama and Claro Panama, a unit of billionaire Carlos Slim's America Movil, concessions to run new mobile phone networks on Wednesday.

Digicel, owned by Irish billionaire Denis O'Brien, bid $86 million for one license, beating a $73 million offer from Claro Panama.

After a third firm dropped out of the running, Claro was asked by the Panama government to equal Digicel's offer, which the America Movil unit (AMXL.MX: Quote, Profile, Research) (AMX.N: Quote, Profile, Research) did.

Panama had set the minimum price at $57 million. (Reporting by Andrew Beatty; Editing by Brian Moss)

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