Pay-TV association moves to block Telefónica's TVA purchase

26 Mar 2007

Brazil’s pay-TV operators’ association ABTA has filed a request with the Brazilian antitrust division Cade, seeking to block Spanish telecom giant Telefónica’s attempt to acquire control of local CATV operator TVA, newspapers say. The association argues that if completed, the takeover would act as an insurmountable barrier to new cable operators entering the market. The Spanish firm acquired a stake in TVA, the cable TV arm of Brazil’s largest magazine publisher Grupo Abril, in October 2006. Brazilian laws bar foreign firms such as Telefónica from owning a controlling stake in local cable TV operators. To sidestep this, Grupo Abril referred to the deal as a partnership and will maintain operating control of TVA. However, the regulator Anatel recently blocked a move by Oi to acquire another cableco, Way Brasil, leading many to think that Telefónica’s takeover of TVA will also be rejected.

Brazil, Telefonica, TVA Sistema de Televisao (TVA)