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Altice U.S. chairman suspends himself after colleague arrested

Altice US CEO Alexandre Fonseca. (Photo via LinkedIn)
Altice US CEO Alexandre Fonseca. (Photo via LinkedIn)

The co-chief executive of French telecommunications firm Altice has suspended himself from all duties after a colleague was arrested over the weekend.

Alexandre Fonseca announced he was stepping away from all executive and non-executive duties on Monday after Altice co-founder Armando Pereira was detained by police while law enforcement in Portugal investigate potential corruption in connection with Altice’s business there.

Fonseca is also a target of the investigation, which started earlier this month and was confirmed by Altice Portugal last Thursday, according to a leading French newspaper.

“Altice Portugal is providing all the cooperation requested and will always be available for any clarification,” a spokesperson for the company said in a statement.

Fonseca previously served as the CEO of Altice Portugal before becoming the co-CEO of Altice and the chairman of the company’s U.S. business, which operates cable and broadband Internet systems in more than 20 states. A spokesperson for Altice said the investigation involves Fonseca’s time as CEO of the company’s Portugal business, and that his decision to step away from his day-to-day duties was intended to “ensure the company retains its focus on its operations and serving customers.”

“We conduct our business with the highest integrity and will continue to move forward operating our business with the best interest of our stockholders, customers, and employees at the forefront,” the spokesperson affirmed.

According to French media reports, the investigation centers around allegations of corruption involving Altice’s build-out of its Portugal business, including how certain service and goods contracts were obtained. More than 90 homes and businesses were raided by law enforcement in Portugal and elsewhere last week in connection with the investigation, the reports said.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).