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Brazil: Telecom Market Reform Inches Closer

Brazil: Telecom Market Reform Inches Closer

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We have watched this last year as Brazil's ailing economy took its toll on pay TV and prepaid mobile subscriptions, and how major operator Oi entered bankruptcy proceedings in June. Political instability and the regular emergence of corruption scandals add to the image of an increasingly problematic market in all sectors. Nevertheless, the more the situation threatens to worsen, the more the reform solutions in the current proposal appear to make sense and the more likely it is to garner full political backing. In Oi's disastrous situation there are also glimmers of hope, as its weakened state has attracted several offers of third party investment, and there is even speculation that a possible turnaround in its fortune has spurred former investor Banco Opportunity to move in on the action. Opportunity was ousted from Oi's precursor companies before the group took shape, and recently reopened legal action against groups indirectly involved in that process. This report describes how the reform bill, known as PLC 79, is a kingpin linking Oi's future prospects, Brazil's digital agenda and the telecom market's competitive scenario.

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