Exclusive: Telefonica gets 18 months to loosen grip on Brazil market

People are reflected as they walk past Spanish telecom group Telefonica's flagship store in central MadridBy Julien Toyer MADRID (Reuters) – Brazil's antitrust watchdog has given Telefonica 18 months to comply with a ruling to loosen its grip on the Brazilian mobile market, sources said, time which may help the Spanish group ward off a growing rebellion over its strategy. Brazilian regulator Cade said this month that Telefonica must sell its interest in TIM Participacoes, the local wireless unit of Telecom Italia, or seek a new partner for its Vivo mobile phone business. Vivo is the largest mobile operator in Brazil and TIM – which Telefonica partly owns via a stake in Telecom Italia – is the second-biggest. The regulator did not say at the time how soon Telefonica must comply with the demand.

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