I OVERVIEW

This chapter describes the most relevant issues involving the TMT legal framework in Brazil and the recent and ongoing changes in TMT policies, mainly driven by the challenges posed by technological innovation, new emergent business models, continuously growing demand for infrastructure and the need for digital social inclusion across the country.

Although the TMT sector has experienced great progress in recent years, the regulatory landscape still needs remodelling to become a more simple, less regulated and less expensive environment for service providers in order to incentivise private investments and achieve digital social inclusion targets.

II REGULATION

i The regulators

The offer of telecom services in Brazil is supervised by the National Telecommunications Agency (ANATEL), a regulatory agency reporting to the Ministry of Communications.

ANATEL’s authority involves, among others, granting and forfeiture of licences to offer telecom services; supervision and control of use of spectrum and the use of orbital slots; issuance of guidelines to regulate the relationship among telecom service providers such as interconnection, unbundling and sharing of infrastructure and ensure compatibility and integrated network operation; supervision and control of consumers’ rights related to telecom services; homologation of telecom equipment to ensure electronic compatibility, and quality and safety requirements; and supervision and control of net neutrality rules.

Telecom services in Brazil are regulated by a number of laws, decrees and other regulations specific to each type of service. The General Telecommunications Law (LGT) is the main law related thereto.

As regards television, there are two separate legislative frameworks for free-to-air television and pay-TV services. Pay-TV is considered a telecom service subject to the LGT and under the authority of ANATEL. Free-to-air broadcasting is not subject to the LGT and is mostly regulated by laws dated from the 1960s. The broadcasting sector (including radio) is still subject to the direct authority of the Ministry of Communications.

Besides, the cinema and audiovisual industries are also subject to regulation by the National Film Agency (ANCINE), a regulatory agency reporting to the Ministry of Culture.

The Provisional Measure that created ANCINE also established the National Cinema Policy and set guidelines for the industry. In 2011, Law 12,485 (the SeAC Law) created a new telecom service to embrace all types of pay-TV technologies: the ‘subscription-based access service’ (SeAc), defined as the telecom service rendered by the private initiative in the community interest, the access to which is conditioned on paid subscription by subscribers and which is intended for distribution of audiovisual content through packages, programming channels in the channel-on-demand and video-on-demand modes, and compulsory channels, by means of any technologies, processes, electronic media and communication protocols whatsoever.

The SeAC services were a convergence of (and replaced) all types of pay-TV services then existing under ANATEL’s regulations, which were separately regulated according to the technology used, and were subject to different licences required for their provision.2

The activities encompassed by the SeAC Law are the distribution, production, programming and packaging of audiovisual content. Except for the distribution of content, which is an activity under the scope of ANATEL’s regulation, the other three activities fall within the regulatory authority of ANCINE.

Free-to-air broadcasting (TV and radio) was not included in the scope of the SeAC Law, except for a few provisions related to cross-ownership between telecom and production/programming companies.

ii Regulated activities

Provision of telecom services requires a licence to be obtained beforehand from ANATEL. Licences are issued for specific services (i.e., there is not one licence covering several or all types of telecom services). ANATEL is responsible for defining the types of service, considering primarily their purpose for users, and the requirements for obtaining each licence vary depending on the type of service.

The main telecom services addressed by the current regulation are (1) the fixed telephony service (STFC); (2) the mobile telephony service (SMP, SME, MVNO); (3) the multimedia communication service (SCM); and (4) pay-TV (SeAc).

The LGT classifies services according to their regime: public or private. In the public regime, services are rendered under concessions, whose rules are driven by universalisation and continuity principles. Concessions for public services may be granted for up to 20 years, which may be extended only once for the same period. The only service currently provided under the public regime is STFC.3 Under the private regime, services are provided under authorisations, which are typically valid for an indefinite term and less regulated.

The timing, procedures and documents required for an application for a telecom licence vary according to the type of service and licence. Generally, the documents required aim at providing ANATEL with evidence that the applicant fulfils the legal, economic-financial and technical qualification and is in good standing as regards tax obligations. Authorisations to provide telecom services under private regimes in general are not auctioned and usually take from two to six months once all documents are submitted to the agency.

If the services require the use of spectrum, a separate application must be made to ANATEL. The timing and process for granting of this authorisation will depend on the particular radiofrequency to be used and whether it must be auctioned or not.

Licences to provide free-to-air broadcasting services (TV and radio) are granted by the Ministry of Communications and the Brazilian President, as concessions, and are preceded by auctions. The concession is valid for 15 years, renewable for equal and successive periods. Broadcasting licences refer to limited geographical area (typically, a municipality).

The use of the radiofrequencies needed to execute the service is licensed separately by ANATEL.

iii Ownership and market access restrictions

The licence to provide any type of telecom service in Brazil will only be granted to companies headquartered and incorporated under the laws of Brazil. In addition, licences for provision of ‘collective interest services’ (services offered to the public in general) can only be granted to companies that have the majority of their corporate capital held by a Brazilian individual or a company established in Brazil. Although direct foreign control of collective interest services providers is prohibited, a foreign company may indirectly own and control a Brazilian telecom subsidiary by means of a local holding.

Broadcasting business is also restricted to companies incorporated under the laws of Brazil with head offices in the country. In addition, at least 70 per cent of the voting capital of broadcasting companies must be held, directly and indirectly, by Brazilian citizens, individuals who have acquired Brazilian citizenship within more than 10 years, or companies incorporated under Brazilian laws and with headquarters in Brazil.

Restrictions also apply to the intellectual guidance of the broadcasting companies (including editorial responsibility, selection and direction of programming/content), which must be held, directly and indirectly, by native Brazilians or individuals who have held Brazilian citizenship for more than 10 years.

There are also cross-ownership restrictions on broadcasters and telecom carriers: broadcasters cannot own, directly and indirectly, more than 50 per cent of telecom carriers and ownership of broadcasting companies by telecom carriers is limited to 30 per cent (directly and indirectly).

A broadcasting company cannot hold more than 10 concessions in the national territory or more than two per state. These restrictions also apply to the shareholders and managers of broadcasting companies (i.e., an individual cannot be manager or shareholder of more than one broadcasting company in a manner that exceeds these limitations).

iv Transfers of control and assignments

Change of control of telecom service providers requires prior approval by ANATEL.4 Under ANATEL’s broad concept, control is the power to directly or indirectly, internally or externally, in practice or legally, individually or by agreement, manage the operation or corporate activities of a company. Powers to appoint management, veto rights, rights to preclude completion of qualified quorum for installation or deliberation of any matters, for instance, are considered controlling powers by ANATEL.

ANATEL’s approval for a change of control will generally consider whether the transaction will harm competition or affect the provision of services or obligations undertaken by the provider towards ANATEL, whether the telecom provider is in compliance with its regulatory obligations, and the effect of the transaction in the telecom market from a regulatory perspective (e.g., overlap of licences and radiofrequencies and consumer rights).

Direct transfer of telecom licences may only take place if (1) the service is being provided for at least three years and the service provider is in compliance with all its regulatory obligations, (2) the assignee meets the requirements to be a telecom licensee, including with regard to the legal, economic-financial, technical qualification and tax good-standing requirements, and (3) the transfer does not harm competition nor affect the provision of services or obligations undertaken by the provider towards ANATEL.

Transfer of control of broadcasting companies or of broadcasting licences depends on the prior approval of the Ministry of Communications and the Brazilian President. No transfer is allowed during the period for installation of the related transmission stations nor in the five years thereafter.

Review and approval of change of control transactions and direct transfer of licences (either related to telecom services or free-to-air broadcasting) are not subject to a time limit and timing varies depending on the status of the company, complexity of the transaction and the general workflow in the governmental authority involved.

III TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND INTERNET ACCESS

i Internet and internet protocol regulation

Internet services went largely unregulated in Brazil until 2014, when the Internet Act was enacted. It establishes basic principles, guarantees, rights and obligations for the use of internet and deals with protection of privacy, record-keeping to assist law enforcement, liability for third-party content and net neutrality.

The coordination and integration of internet services in Brazil are performed by the Brazilian Internet Steering Committee (CGI.br). CGI.br is not a regulatory body, but an organisation created by Presidential Decree, composed of members from the government, corporate sector, third sector and academic community. Although CGI.br does not have the authority to issue binding regulations, it was given the role of proposing policies and procedures, recommending technical standards, establishing strategic directives and promoting studies.

While the provision of internet access is considered a telecom service, regulated by ANATEL, businesses built over-the-top of telecom operators’ networks (OTTs), such as messaging applications, video-on-demand (VOD), and voice over internet protocol, are viewed as value-added services that avail themselves of a telecom platform. No licence is required to provide OTTs and there are no requirements that must be complied with by OTTs’ providers, nor restrictions on ownership, unless the activity to be carried out through the internet is itself regulated. There is no regulatory agency regulating OTTs.

The scenario where OTTs grew to compete with traditional telecom services but were subject to a far much simpler legal landscape and, at the same time, continuously caused the increase of data flood in the networks, came to the attention of government authorities from two perspectives: (1) the need to establish fairness in competition, and (2) the need to incentivise network expansion. In this context, rather than further regulating OTTs, government authorities have been demonstrating a willingness to reduce regulation over telecom services. ANCINE, however, has indicated it intends to regulate audiovisual streaming and VOD services.

ii Universal service

ANATEL and the Ministry of Communications have evidenced the expansion of broadband access currently occupies an important place in their agendas: in recent years, several initiatives have been carried out to increase and upgrade broadband access across the country.

To mention some examples, in 2010, the National Broadband Program (PNBL) was approved with the purpose of expanding broadband access. In 2011, ANATEL approved the Regulation for Management of Quality Levels of SCM establishing quality targets for fixed internet. In 2012, the federal government also introduced the special tax regime for the PNBL, seeking to increase investment in infrastructure by reducing the tax burden.

In 2016, the former Ministry of Communications announced the creation of the Intelligent Brazil Program. Among other goals, it intends to expand fibre optic networks and increase the number of homes connected. The former Minister indicated that it will cover the building of undersea cables, the setup of a fund to promote investments in infrastructure by small carriers, and incentives to public-private partnerships.

In the context of the telecom regulatory framework general review, ANATEL and the Ministry of Communications recently indicated their intention to waive rights over certain assets held by incumbents under fixed-line concessions (so-called ‘reversible assets’, which are supposed to revert to the federal government’s ownership upon termination of the concessions) in exchange for commitments from these companies to invest in broadband expansion.

The Bill of Law No. 3,453 amends the LGT and, inter alia, also establishes investment obligations in broadband expansion to those fixed telephony concessionaires that opt to migrate from the public regime to a private regime licence.

iii Restrictions on the provision of service

The Internet Act places access to internet as essential for the exercise of citizenship and establishes that one of the purposes of regulating the internet is promoting the universal access right. Among other users’ rights expressly acknowledged by the law are the maintenance of the connection quality and the prohibition against suspending internet access, except in the event of payment default.

Based on these provisions, and in some other scattered provisions in the telecom regulation, some have defended that carriers may not discontinue connection after a data cap is achieved (i.e., they should only implement business models that limit and charge for speed, but not for data flow). Data caps are contemplated in existing mobile broadband agreements, but while the possibility to discontinue connection is not clarified, most carriers have opted to adopt conservative practices such as reducing speed after a data cap is achieved.

As regards fixed broadband, carriers’ ability to impose data caps was recently subject to intense debates. The announcement by a telecom operator of its intention to start implementing data caps on fixed broadband agreements caused a negative reaction by the general public, arguing it would be contrary to universal access targets. ANATEL issued a temporary order prohibiting the practice until a regulation is enacted, and is conducting a study addressing the possible economic and social effects of the practice. The Ministry of Communications determined that ANATEL’s future regulation must ensure the offer of at least one broadband plan with unlimited data allowance by carriers. Data cap business models are also contained in the net neutrality discussions.

Under net neutrality rules, all data packages must be treated equally, without distinction of content, origin and destination, service, terminal or application. Traffic discrimination or degradation is only permitted to satisfy technical requirements or when emergency services need priority and as long as reasonableness, fair treatment and transparency principles are abided by, no injury to users is caused, and no anticompetitive practices are undertaken. The only technical requirements acknowledged by law that may justify traffic discrimination are the handling of security and safety issues, and of extraordinary network congestion situations. Traffic management based on international standards is also permitted, provided that ANATEL’s and CGI.br’s guidelines are adhered to.

Network operators are not allowed to block, monitor, filter or analyse the content of data packages and cannot keep records of users’ logs on internet applications.

ANATEL was given authority for investigating offences against net neutrality, following the guidelines from CGI.br. Agreements between carriers and internet applications are prohibited if they prioritise data packages under commercial arrangements, favour applications offered by the carriers themselves, or jeopardise the public and unrestricted access to the internet or the dictates, principles and objectives governing the use of internet in Brazil.

iv Security

The Internet Act reflects, to some extent, the government’s concern at the time it was enacted with the allegations made public by Edward Snowden of unauthorised surveillance by the US government.

Brazil lacks a data privacy specific regulation and a data protection authority. Privacy and personal data are protected through scattered provisions in the Federal Constitution, the Civil and Consumer Protection Codes and other federal laws applicable to particular activities. In this scenario, although the Internet Act and Decree 8,771 are not data privacy laws, per se, they contain provisions dealing with the privacy of personal data in the internet environment.

‘Personal data’ is defined as any data relating to an identified or identifiable person, including identification numbers, location data or electronic identifiers, when these relate to an individual. This definition excludes from the concept of personal data anonymised data that cannot be de-anonymised.

Under the Internet Act, collection, use, storage, transfer and/or processing of personal data requires consent from the data subject. Consent must be express and detached from other contractual provisions, and may be revoked. Data subjects must also be provided with complete and clear information regarding their data’s processing, and may request its definitive exclusion at the end of the contractual relationship. Decree 8,771 mandates that personal data, communications content and connection logs collection/processing must be as minimal as possible and must cease as soon as the purpose of its use ends.

Data privacy is an issue that has been increasingly attracting attention from government authorities in past years, and there are specific bills of law presently under review by the National Congress. Brazilian citizens, however, are still quite casual about their data, and data privacy is not an issue frequently debated in court, except for litigation involving identification of internet users and criminal and civil liability for content posted online.

With regard to content liability, the Brazilian legal system in general and, specifically the Internet Act, protect the freedom of speech, balanced with other constitutional principles such as privacy and dignity. If a content or action in the internet is considered illegal, it is possible to obtain a court decision or order for its removal. Internet application providers are not responsible for third-party content in their websites, except if after receiving a specific court order, they do not take action to make unavailable the infringing content.

Internet application providers that perform their business in a professional, economic and organised manner are also required to guarantee law enforcement by keeping records of the application access logs (date and time of use of a specific internet application from a certain IP address) for six months. Likewise, network operators must keep connection logs (date and time of an internet connection, its duration and IP address) stored for one year. Record keeping must be made in a confidential, secured and controlled environment.

A court order may also determine that application access logs are stored for a longer period provided that they relate to specific facts within a determined time frame. Administrative authorities may also request certain data (without a court order) in specific circumstances provided in law.

In relation to data security standards, there are no data breach notification laws in force, and internet access service providers and internet application service providers must follow the security standards below in storing, recording and processing activities:

  • a stringent data access controls;
  • b authentication mechanisms for access to logs and records;
  • c detailed history of accesses to application and connection logs, comprising the time, duration, identification of accessing employee or designee, and accessed files; and
  • d adequate solutions to ensure the inviolability of data (such as encryption).

Finally, the secrecy of communications is protected by the Federal Constitution and by the Internet Act, and its content can only be disclosed by those who have their records under a court order in the context of a criminal investigation or the gathering of evidence for criminal procedures. Real-time interception is further regulated by the Wire-Tapping Law, which establishes that the court order for interception may only be rendered if there are reasonable signs of the commitment of a crime, if the evidence cannot be produced through other means, and if the investigated fact does not constitute a misdemeanour subject, at the most, to a penalty of detention.

The law does not determine that providers must have the capability to comply with an interception or communication content delivery order, but unless they provide evidence of technical impossibility (i.e., because the communication is encrypted and it does not hold the keys), failure to comply with a court order would be considered a felony and therefore exposes the provider to penalties.

The obligations above concerning privacy, data protection and communications secrecy apply to any entity, whenever collection, storage, maintenance or processing of personal data or communications content takes place in Brazil. This applies to foreign companies as long as they offer services to Brazilian customers or have at least one group entity established in Brazil. With regard to communications content, the above applies as long as at least one of the communication terminals is located in Brazil.

IV SPECTRUM POLICY

i Development

Radio frequency spectrum is defined under the LGT as a limited resource in the public interest administered by ANATEL. It is part of ANATEL’s duties to devise plans for allocation, distribution and destination of radio frequencies, vis-à-vis the various existing services and technologies and pursuing efficiency. The use of spectrum, whether or not on an exclusive basis, is generally conditioned upon ANATEL’s prior authorisation, which is granted directly related to a licence for the rendering of a certain telecom service. Rights to use spectrum are currently granted for a definite period, and are in general renewable only once.

The main regulation on the use of spectrum currently in force dates back to 2001 and its revision is part of the scope of the Broadband Expansion Plan and of the telecom regulatory framework general review currently being debated in Congress and by ANATEL.

The spectrum policy review aims mainly at increasing efficiency on spectrum management. Changes under discussion involve, for example, allowing the resale of spectrum (currently prohibited by law), harmonising the spectrum policy with technologies’ convergence trends, radiofrequency refarmings, and implementation of spectrum systems for management of temporary use of frequencies. Although discussions have been ongoing for quite a while, actual material changes in the legislation have been minimal up to this moment.

ii Flexible spectrum use

Mobile carriers have introduced RAN sharing deals in recent years, following a trend initiated by tower sale and leaseback transactions.

RAN sharing agreements depend on ANATEL’s prior approval. ANATEL has indicated that the sharing is a basic principle to be pursued by ANATEL in the spectrum management, aiming at guaranteeing the efficient, rational and adequate uses of this scarce resource, as long as technically viable.

iii Broadband and next-generation mobile spectrum use

ANATEL has been alert to the rapid growing demand for broadband and next-generation mobile services in Brazil. In 2007 ANATEL auctioned the 1.9GHz and 2.1GHz bands for 3G technology broadband services; and in 2012, the 2.5GHz and 450MHz bands for 4G services. In 2014, another auction was carried intending to expand 4G services in Brazil by using the 700MHz spectrum. Although the 700MHz was successfully licensed to telecom carriers, it is currently used for analogue TV and its refarming still depends on a TV digitalisation plan to be implemented. Later in 2014, ANATEL carried out a ‘leftover’ multi-band spectrum auction, also aimed at expanding 4G services and fixed broadband, which comprised frequencies in the 1.8GHz, 1.9GHz and 2.5GHz bands that had not been sold in previous auctions.

The 2014 leftover spectrum auction offered several municipal lots with low minimum average prices and special payment conditions, as an attempt to encourage small and medium-sized internet service providers to bid. ANATEL has announced that giving incentives to small broadband providers to increase their market share is part of a strategy to disseminate the broadband offer.

In all spectrum auctions, ANATEL imposed coverage and quality requirements with targets for carriers to achieve.

Some material issues remain untouched up to this point and have been raised by carriers as essential to encourage private investment in broadband expansion, such as the termination of spectrum caps for carriers, changes in the law to make possible the renewal of spectrum licences more than once, and simplification of towers regulations, especially as regards zoning and permitting restrictions and land-use restrictions.

iv Spectrum auctions and fees

Although some radiofrequency bands are still available (left over from previous auctions), no future auction has been scheduled by ANATEL to date. For the next rounds, ANATEL has announced it is also considering making more spectrum available, such as the 2.3GHz and the 3.5GHz bands, the latter depending on conclusive studies regarding interference with the C Band.

For the next auctions to be scheduled, the former Minister of Communications had announced an intention not to prioritise ANATEL’s revenues, so that carriers may focus on enlarging infrastructure. ANATEL also announced that it intends to simplify the rules of future auctions, in another attempt to encourage small and medium-sized carriers to participate.

V MEDIA

i Restrictions on the provision of service

Media content is offered in Brazil through three main telecom services: SeAC, free-to-air broadcasting and internet broadband, which are regulated by the telecom rules and regulatory bodies mentioned earlier in the chapter. Provision of content that does not involve a network operation (but, rather, relies on a third party’s service to have its signal transmitted) is not a regulated activity.

As mentioned above, content broadcasting is considered a service of national interest regulated directly by the Ministry of Communications and has to serve educative and cultural purposes. At least 5 per cent of the daily programming must be devoted to news services and five hours per week must be used for transmission of educational programmes. Advertising is capped at 25 per cent of the daily programming. Broadcasting companies are also required to transmit official programmes and announcements of public authorities. Other than the above, broadcasting companies are free to organise their programming, which may include programmes produced by it directly and programmes licensed or purchased from third parties.

Under ANATEL rules, SeAc providers are required to make a basic package of channels available to all subscribers. Requirements on the types of channels to be carried by SeAc providers and their content were established by the SeAc Law and complemented by regulation issued by ANCINE. There are requirements in respect to minimum Brazilian content and minimum content produced by Brazilian independent producers, to be included during peak viewing hours on certain channels. These obligations mainly lie with the channels’ programmers, although it is incumbent on the SeAc provider or, if applicable, the respective packaging company, to verify compliance with this obligation. Like in broadcasting, advertising in pay-TV channels is capped at 25 per cent of the daily programming.

Despite ANCINE’s announcement that it plans to launch draft regulation for public review, imposing content requirements on VOD services and internet delivered content, they currently remain unregulated.

ii Internet-delivered video content

Internet video distribution is considered a value added service, currently out of the scope of the existing telecom regulation. No content restrictions apply either.

Although internet-delivered content has increased at a rapid pace in the capitals and more developed cities in the country, there is still limited access to this service, especially considering the overall Brazilian population’s economic capacity and the broadband infrastructure in less developed areas in the country.

Because internet-delivered content faces significant restrictions in penetrating the general population, free-to-air broadcast and pay-TV are still important distribution channels in Brazil. Free-to-air TV broadcast has traditionally played a significant role in low-income regions and the pay-TV market has increased its penetration among the middle classes as its affordability increases.

VI THE YEAR IN REVIEW

2016 was marked by the suspension and subsequent impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff, which was accompanied by the replacement of several important offices in the government.

A legislative package was rolled out on the eve of the former president’s suspension from office, including a Decree regulating the Internet Act as regards net neutrality, data protection and others, and a Decree with guidelines for ANATEL to implement the broadband universalisation plan. The interim President also launched his own welcoming legislative package to restructure several ministries, including the merger of the Ministry of Communications with the Ministry of Science Technology and Innovations. This political reframing obviously affected the political and legislative agendas and priorities.

Just before Ms Rousseff’s suspension, the Ministry of Communications had issued a set of guidelines for the review of the Brazilian telecom regulatory framework, clearly centred on two goals: (1) to significantly expand the availability of broadband services, and (2) to create a less bureaucratic regime for the offer of telecom services in general. The guidelines expressly directed ANATEL to seek to establish a simpler, more effective and more convergent format for granting licences for the provision of telecom services.

Another important event was the financial crisis of Oi, a telecom incumbent with 70 million subscribers. Oi sought court protection in June, Brazil’s largest bankruptcy to date. Oi’s financial deterioration also served to boost discussions on the urge and importance of the telecom regulatory framework review.

VII CONCLUSIONS AND OUTLOOK

The regulatory landscape shows significant challenges ahead.

Incumbents face the problems related to their legacy landline concessions such as their scheduled termination in 2025, decreasing voice revenues, competition from OTTs and mandatory investments that do not provide an attractive return. Oi’s bankruptcy has highlighted the incumbents’ financial and management woes. Mobile companies also have their share of problems. Even though services are provided under a private regime, which theoretically means that freedom is the rule, ANATEL throughout the years has been a heavy-handed regulator.

ANATEL itself is not free from criticism. While consumer advocacy groups claim that it has been lenient with the quality of services offered by telecom companies, the companies themselves condemn ANATEL’s harshness when imposing disproportionate and unreasonable fines. Only recently ANATEL has been empowered to settle fines out of court. At the same time ANATEL has been under the scrutiny of the Federal Budget Oversight Board, an accountability federal court. Soon ANATEL may also need to look into whether more consolidation is an answer to companies’ problems.

Political turmoil in 2015 and 2016, however, has contributed to a lack of political leadership that could steer the much-needed adjustments to the 20-year old LGT. A bill of law introducing changes to the LGT, even though it cannot be seen as a major revamp, is slowly moving ahead. One of the most pressing questions is whether the incumbents will be allowed to free up their fixed assets currently tied to concessions and redirect funds owed to the federal government for broadband investments. One last, but not least, important aspect is the heavy taxation currently imposed on telecom companies, which are the largest taxpayers in the country. But with Brazil’s fiscal problems this may be the last thing to be changed.

Footnotes

1 Raphael de Cunto is a partner and Beatriz Landi Laterza Figueiredo is an associate at Pinheiro Neto Advogados.

2 The pay-TV services then existing were the cable TV service (TVC); the multipoint multichannel distribution service (MMDS); the direct-to-home service (DTH); and the special subscription TV service (TVA).

3 The current STFC concessions will expire on 31 December 2025.

4 There are a few exceptions concerning specific services and transactions. For example, if the involved telecom provider only holds a licence to provide SCM and the transaction is not subject to an antitrust filing, ANATEL’s prior approval is not required.