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Anatel Seeks new TIM Sales Ban

The Brazilian Regulator, Anatel, is seeking a renewed ban on the sale of new payment plans by Telefonica Italia-owned TIM Participaçoes. The move comes after the lifting of a sales ban imposed on the country’s three largest operators last month.

A report claiming that TIM deliberately dropped calls in order to gouge its customers has been presented to the public prosecutor in Paraná. The dispute centres on so-called ‘infinity plans’ where customers pay for each call, rather than for the combined time of their calls. The report alleges a substantial profit from the scheme to drop calls.

The infinity plan was introduced in 2009 and is reported to have been a popular sales tactic for TIM. The public prosecutor in Paraná is suing for a renewed sales ban in Paraná and a damages pay-out to punish TIM and compensate consumers. The public prosecutor’s suit is understood to apply in only one of Brazil’s 26 states. Similar actions may follow in the 18 or so other states TIM saw bans in, or there may be a Federal case.