Brazilian Competition Regulator OKs Oi Sale To TIM

The board of Brazil’s telecom regulator Anatel has approved the sale of Oi’s mobile operations to a consortium formed by the other three big national telcos TIM, Claro, and Telefônica Brasil.

With the regulatory nod, which came in an extraordinary meeting of the regulator, all that remains pending is full clearance from antitrust watchdog Cade.

With the acquisition, the country’s three largest mobile operators take over the fourth largest player, dividing its customers and spectrum frequencies between them.

Related: Brazil’s Antitrust Watchdog See’s Problems In Oi Sale Approval

In the agreement between the trio, TIM, which has a smaller number of users and spectrum than its rivals, gets a larger slice of Oi.

The deal still faces opposition from smaller operators and internet service providers, who have complained about the market concentration it entails. Anatel however, did not interfere in the agreements on sharing spectrum and customers between the parties. At present, Oi has around 41 million mobile clients.

The agency’s board only stressed that the buyers must ensure roaming in all geographies and stated that its own consumer protection department would closely supervise the complex customer absorption process, ensuring consumers’ rights on migrating to another provider.

According to Anatel, Telefônica, Claro, and TIM must guarantee access to networks in the wholesale market, with the emphasis on small providers and virtual operators (MVNOs).

The watchdog also demanded that the trio continue mobile communications at the Brazilian Antarctic station Comandante Ferraz, which is currently run by Oi.

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