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Abstract: During the 1990s, Argentina carried out an ambitious program of economic reforms, including the privatization of its telephone system and other state-owned utilities. In 2002, however, a severe economic crisis forced Argentina to default on its foreign debts, devalue its foreign currency, and freeze bank accounts. As part of the emergency measures, the government ordered the freezing of telephone and other utility tariffs and the renegotiation of all utility concession contracts.
Learning Objective: This case is intended for use in an executive program or graduate course on privatization and regulation to illustrate the challenges posed by an economic crisis and how they are complicated when there is a legacy of distrust among consumers, utility companies, and the government.