Anatel studies undoing the sale of Oi Móvel if dispute over roaming is prolonged


The president of Anatel, Carlos Baigorri, said this Thursday (21) that if court injunctions that suspend obligations to offer roaming to competitors by TIM, Telefônica Brasil and Claro are not reversed, the agency may seek to undo the sale of Hi Mobile for the three companies.

In an interview with Reuters, Baigorri said that the three operators are trying to prevent competition in the market by interrupting in court the roaming offer process, which was defined as a consideration for the sale of Oi Móvel.

The three companies acquired Oi’s mobile network business in the country with a joint offer of R$ 16.5 billion. The transaction was completed this year after receiving approval from Anatel itself and CADE (Administrative Council for Economic Defense).

The sale of the cellular network is one of the main parts of Oi’s judicial recovery plan, one of the largest and longest processes of its kind in the country in recent years.

The deal involving the sale of Oi’s mobile network was conditioned to certain remedies. One of them was the offer of roaming services by each of the three operators to other companies in the sector, in order to allow smaller companies to serve their own customers.

Baigorri stated, however, that Claro, TIM and Telefônica Brasil, owner of Vivo, obtained parallel injunctions in court against the model defined by Anatel for the offer of roamings —which defines the amounts to be paid by the contracting companies— which, in practice, , interrupted the process until the judgment of the merits, according to him.

“There are several operations that we approve and we have never had this type of behavior from operators, it was an unpleasant surprise for us,” Baigorri said in an interview with Reuters on Thursday.

Roaming is a telephony service for users who are in areas where their original operator does not operate, such as, for example, in the case of a trip.

“The full focus [da Anatel] is to overturn the injunctions. And, in a second moment, other measures can be taken. The operation (sale of Oi Móvel) has already been completed, but can be reviewed,” he said.

Baigorri added that there are studies at Anatel on the legal possibility of the autarchy undoing the billionaire deal, since it would be something “unprecedented” for the agency, but highlighted that another alternative would be Cade, which has already taken similar measures.

The president of Anatel said that the appeals to the injunctions will be presented next week by the Specialized Federal Prosecutor’s Office linked to Anatel and that he will dispatch “personally” with the magistrates.

In a note, TIM said that “at no time was it opposed to the remedies”, but rather to the fact that the values ​​set by Anatel for the roaming offer were “totally detached from the operational reality”.

TIM also stated “that no regulated company can be forced to set prices below its own costs, as they end up becoming unsustainable subsidies that harm competition in the sector”.

Telefônica Brasil did not comment on the matter and Claro, a subsidiary of Mexico’s América Móvil, did not respond to requests for comment.

The approval of the sale of Oi Móvel by Anatel took place in January and unanimously. At Cade, the trial was tense, with threats of disciplinary measures among directors, but the deal was upheld in March.


Baigorri contests TIM’s version of cost modeling and the issue extends to the injunctions of the other two operators.

According to the president of Anatel, the definition of values ​​for national roaming services based on the historical average cost of the three companies was not seen as the most adequate by Anatel, because the method excludes the inefficiencies of the companies.

“What the theory shows is that environments with market concentration have inefficiencies,” he said, giving an example of investments made by operators that did not work out and amounts paid to executives.

The calculation proposed by Anatel, according to him, takes into account an efficient company, through an incremental method.

He highlighted that there are different cost methodologies and all of them have pros and cons, but that “Anatel is not inventing the wheel” and that its methodology has undergone an international audit.

For him, the main issue is not even about the costs: “It seems to me that it’s about not wanting to [concorrência]. That competition arises in the market, that is natural.”


The head of Anatel said that the situation, if extended, could harm the implementation of 5G in the country, noting that the design of the remedies was thinking about the entry of new operators. Smaller publicly listed companies such as Unifique and Brisanet were among the winners of 5G frequencies at auction late last year.

Baigorri said that with the roaming offer these new companies have greater chances of establishing themselves in the market, “gaining muscle”.

“If these remedies are not made available, it will definitely hurt 5G and the consumer,” he added.

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