Marcelo Bechara, a board member of Brazil’s telecoms regulator Anatel, has said the watchdog would ‘not welcome’ any move that would result in domestic mobile market leader Telefonica Brazil (Vivo) taking indirect control of smaller rival TIM Participacoes (TIM Brasil). Bechara’s comments come in the wake of a decision from Telefonica of Spain’s decision to boost its own stake in TIM Brasil parent company Telecom Italia in a USD1.2 billion deal that may result in the disposal of the Italian group’s Brazilian carrier. Speaking in Brasilia this Wednesday, Bechara said that to date he has ‘not been notified of the accord’ between the Italian and Spanish parent groups, but notes that a potential tie-up between their Brazilian units ‘wouldn’t do good to the local market’. The official’s comments echo those of the minister of communications, Paulo Bernardo, who this week warned both companies that the government will seek to block their merger plan.
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