Anatel moves to limit reach of TI, Telefonica deal

29 Jun 2009

Brazil’s telecoms regulator Anatel has imposed new rules in order to maintain the separation of the mobile operating businesses of Telecom Italia (TI) and Telefonica of Spain, which owns a controlling stake in the Italian company, Reuters reports. The watchdog said last week that both groups had met the terms and conditions it laid out in October 2007 when a Telefonica-backed consortium acquired control of TI – rules designed to ensure Vivo Participacoes (a 50/50 joint venture between the Spanish group and Portugal Telecom) and the Italian firm’s TIM Brasil are run independently. Among the new restrictions, Anatel will conduct annual supervision visits to monitor that both businesses remain independent. It has also barred directors of Telefonica and TI to be on the board of each other’s Brazilian mobile phone units. The acquisition of a controlling stake of TI by Telco, as the Telefonica-led shareholder group is called, was given final approval by Anatel and will now go for a vote at Brazil’s antitrust regulator Cade.