America Movil (AM), the Mexico-based telecoms holding group of entrepreneur Carlos Slim, last Friday announced that it intends to complete the formal merger of its various Brazilian telecoms assets by the end of this year. The announcement came just a day after the local antitrust regulator gave its formal approval to the plan to merge mobile operator Claro Brasil, cable TV company Net Servicos de Comunicacao and long-distance and international service provider Embratel. The integration was given the green light on the condition that cellco Claro (formerly Telecom Americas) register as a publicly held company with the country’s securities watchdog Comissao de Valores Mobiliarios (CVM). Claro, the country’s third largest mobile operator by subscribers, will absorb the two fixed line businesses, but will have to open up to other investors under Brazilian telecoms regulations that stipulate that concession holders or their controlling companies must have an open capital structure, although this does not necessarily mean that the firm will have to list shares on the stock market, Anatel official Igor Villas Boas said. TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that in April 2013 AM confirmed that the holding company was seeking to consolidate its fixed and mobile telecoms and cable TV operations in Brazil, in a bid to reduce overall operational costs.
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