CARACAS, Venezuela — Venezuela’s high court ordered the immediate seizure of all DirecTV property Friday, days after the U.S. company abandoned its services in the South American nation, citing U.S. sanctions.
The Supreme Court ruling told the nation’s telecommunications agency to seize satellite dishes and office space at transmission centers. It also said DirecTV programming should immediately return to the airwaves, in an order that was not likely to be heeded.
Dallas-based AT&T on Tuesday cut off pay TV services in Venezuela, saying U.S. sanctions prohibit its DirecTV platform from broadcasting channels that it is required to carry by the administration of President Nicolás Maduro.
However, pro-Maduro lawmaker María Alejandra Díaz said the company is legally bound to uphold its programming.
“DirecTV unilaterally and illegally suspended the right to freedom of expression and communication for almost 10 million Venezuelans,” Díaz said outside the court. “It is not true to say that DirecTV could not comply with internal regulations.”