Telefonica secures approval in Telecom Italia deal

Brazilian regulators gave the go-ahead for Spain's Telefonica and its Italian partners to buy a controlling stake in Telecom Italia, removing a major hurdle to the $5.8 billion deal, an Associatd Press report said.

But they set conditions on the buyout, the report said.
The Associated Press report quoted Brazil's Anatel telecommunications regulator as saying that the companies must maintain their Brazilian cell phone operations as separate entities and it gave the Italian and Spanish companies six months to present a plan showing they would do so.

Telefonica owns half of leading Brazilian cell phone operator Vivo Participacoes, and Telecom Italia owns Tim Participacoes, the No. 2 mobile operator in Latin America's largest nation, the report said.

After the companies present their plan to address 28 conditions set by Anatel, regulators could accept it or reject it, Bedran told reporters in Brazil's capital, the report said.

The companies have been waiting for approval by Brazilian regulators since April, when the 4.1 billion euro deal was announced to give Telefonica and the investors a 23.6% stake in the former Italian monopoly through an investment vehicle called Telco, the report further said.