government opens investigation into the sale of mobile networks

Oi (OIBR3): government opens investigation at Anatel on the sale of mobile networks
Hi (OIBR3), Vivo (VIVT3) and Claro: process was moved British Telecom (BT). Photo: Disclosure

In view of the impact that the sale of mobile networks from Hi (OIBR3) may have in the competitive environment of competitors, the government referred the case to Anatel, which will investigate the risks of infringement of the economic order, according to the Folha de São Paulo.

In December of last year, operators Alive, Tim (TIMS3) and clear bought Oi’s mobile networks for R$ 16.5 billion. However, for deputy Elias Vaz, the sector is already monopolized and the purchase operation by the three rivals “concentrates what is already concentrated”.

“This, in my opinion, hurts society’s interest, because it is a very important sector in people’s lives. It hurts the question of monopoly, from the formation of cartels. And we made this formal provocation to the government, because the government was silent on this situation”, says Vaz.

Through the parliamentary appointment, the deputy suggested to the Ministry of Communications that it institute an administrative proceeding with Anatel to investigate the possibility of infringement against the economic order and damage to users that may arise from the sale of the Oi’s mobile networks.

In office, the secretary of Telecommunications substitute, Nathália Almeida, affirms that “the congressman’s concern coincides with that of the federal government, in the sense of promoting a market of broad, free and fair competition, competition and free enterprise”.

The note adds that it is up to the Anatel the regulation and inspection of the sector, “including as regards the control, prevention and repression of infractions of the economic order”.

Oi’s mobile networks under Anatel’s responsibility

Anatel stated to Folha de São Paulo that in order to guarantee the provision of services in standards compatible with the user’s requirements, necessary measures can be adopted to stimulate competitiveness in the sector.

“If negative impacts are identified for consumers or for competition in the telecommunications market, Anatel may impose restrictions, limits or conditions on companies or groups of companies providing telecommunication services“, he said.

In relation to the specific case of the sale of hi assets, Anatel informs that the analysis of the operation is in the phase of gathering information and fundamentals, a period that investigates the effects of the sale and its adequacy to the legislation. Only in the next phase is the agency’s decision.

Wanted by the report of sheet, Claro, Tim and Vivo stated that the proposal presented for the purchase of Oi’s mobile assets preserves the competitive aspects in the segment of cell phone. The sale by Oi took place, however, in an auction without competition. THE highline, who even negotiated the assets, gave up on the deal and did not appear at the event.

The completion of the operation must still go through the Cade’s approval, which will analyze how customers will be divided among the three operators, to avoid excessive market concentration.

At the end of July, Cade stated that the operation is “complex” and indicated that additional investigations would be needed to assess how the buyers would be after the incorporation of the assets of the Hi.