Bloomberg News

Telemar, Brasil Telecom Investigated by Regulator

February 15, 2012

(Corrects to say alleged in first paragraph.)

Feb. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Telemar Norte Leste SA, Telemar Internet Ltda, Brasil Telecom SA and BRT Servicos de Internet SA are being investigated for alleged unfair practices in their call centers.

Brazil’s Justice Ministry’s antitrust arm, known as SDE, suspects the telecommunications companies of using their call centers to promote their own Internet service providers without mentioning competitors’ products, said Diogo Thomson de Andrade, director of the Economic Protection and Defense Department, in a telephone interview from Brasilia.

“This case is very similar to another regarding Telefonica SA,” said Andrade.

Telefonica’s unit Telecomunicacoes de Sao Paulo SA agreed with the Administrative Council for Economic Defense, or Cade, in November 2010 to enable clients to choose their Internet service provider online instead of through its call center.

The start of the investigation was reported today in Brazil’s official gazette.

--With assistance from Karen Eeuwens in London. Editors: Karen Eeuwens, Harry Maurer

To contact the reporter on this story: Mario Sergio Lima in Brasilia Newsroom at mlima11@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Joshua Goodman at jgoodman19@bloomberg.net


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