The sale of failed Brazilian operator Oi hit a major stumbling block as Brazil’s telecoms regulator was reportedly told to halt the operator’s asset sale to rivals Claro Brasil, Telefonica Brasil (Vivo) and TIM Brasil.
Local news outlet O Globo reported telecoms regulator Anatel will review its approval of the BRL16.5 billion ($3.14 billion) deal, which it only greenlit last week. The change in face reportedly stemmed from a challenge by Copel Telecom.
Reuters reported, in a filing Copel Telecom raised to the telecoms regulator that Anatel board member Emmanoel Campelo did not chair the two meetings to approve the deal, rendering the regulator’s decision illegal.
Copel Telecom said this was the view stated by Anatel’s own legal team when it was consulted. Brazil’s prosecutor’s office recommended the country’s antitrust regulator Cade move to block the deal.
Anatel said in a statement: “Until there is a final decision on the case, all the acts carried out by Anatel are presumed to be legal and remain valid”.
The saga of Oi’s sale has rumbled on since 2016 when the company filed for bankruptcy and had since looked for buyers of its assets. Claro Brasil, Telefonica Brasil (Vivo) and TIM Brasil partnered in 2020 to scoop up its struggling rival's assets to improve their own respective networks.