AT&T said Tuesday it will immediately ditch Venezuela’s pay TV market as U.S. sanctions prohibit its DirecTV platform from broadcasting channels that it is required to carry by the socialist administration of Nicolás Maduro.
The Dallas-based company’s closing of its Venezuela unit is effective immediately.
It follows a decision by the Trump administration not to renew a license it had granted AT&T to continue carrying Globovision, a private network, sanctioned by the U.S., owned by a businessman close to Maduro who is wanted on U.S. money laundering charges, three people familiar with the situation told the AP. They spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss U.S. government licensing activity.
AT&T joins a number of other U.S. companies — General Motors, Kellogg Co. and Kimberly-Clark — that have abandoned Venezuela due to shrinking sales, government threats and the risk of U.S. sanctions. Around 700 Venezuelans depended on the unit for employment.