Prosecutors file USD437m lawsuit against Telefonica

6 Feb 2009

Brazil’s consumer protection agency Procon and the national telecoms regulator Anatel have filed a joint BRL1 billion (USD437 million) lawsuit against Telefonica of Spain claiming damages related to poor levels of service quality over the past five years, Dow Jones Newswires reports. It is understood the damages amount to approximately 10% of the firm’s revenues in the period in question. Telefonica’s Telecomunicacoes de Sao Paulo (Telesp), is Brazil’s second largest fixed line service provider, operates a broadband internet business, and also jointly controls mobile operator Vivo Participacoes with Portugal Telecom. Public prosecutors Joao Lopes Guimaraes, Paulo Sergio Cornacchioni and Eduardo Ferreira Valerio, note that there are currently 18,000 cases pending against Telefonica in Sao Paulo courts relating to customer complaints. ‘The inadequate, irregular, intermittent, inefficient, discourteous and disrespectful way [the company] treats the rights of its users … clearly implies the breaking of the law,’ they said in their statement.

Brazil, Telefonica Brasil (Vivo)