Regulator to discuss ramifications of Oi, Way TV tie-up

9 Jan 2008

The Brazilian telecoms regulator Anatel will today study whether or not Oi’s purchase of Minas Gerais-based cableco Way TV could have an adverse impact on sector competition, reports BNamericas. The watchdog originally turned down the USD60 million acquisition in June 2006 on the grounds that under local laws, telecoms operators are forbidden from owning a TV operator in a region in which they already possess a telecoms licence. However, in a controversial U-turn on 23 October 2007 Anatel approved the takeover, overturning its previous ruling in March 2007, adjudging that the deal was indeed permissible ‘if there were no other parties interested at the time in operating cable TV in the same region’. Although Anatel’s revised ruling deals with the regulatory issues, the deal must also be assessed by the antitrust agency Cade to determine whether it would distort sector competition.