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Brazil Anatel: Oi/BRP Rule-Change Proposal Ready by Mid-Sep

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SAO PAULO (Dow Jones) Brazil's telecommunications regulator, Anatel, will complete rule change proposals necessary for the takeover of local integrated telecom operator Brasil Telecom Participacoes by local rival Tele Norte Leste Participacoes', or Oi, by the middle of September, an Anatel official said Wednesday.

The proposals are currently in the period of public consultation and, assuming that period is not extended, Anatel's final report on the changes will be ready in 45 days from Aug. 1, Pedro Ziller told journalists in Brasilia. Telecom lobby group Telcomp has asked that the public-consultation period be extended.

In April, Oi announced a much-anticipated $3.5 billion deal to buy control of Brasil Telecom. However, the deal cannot go through until the government changes rules that prohibit one telecom from offering fixed line services in more than one operating region.

Ziller will draw up a final proposal, which will then be enacted into law by President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

Lula's administration is a strong advocate of the merger of Oi and Brasil Telecom, arguing that Brazil needs a strong national telecommunications player to compete with Spain's Telefonica and Mexico's America Movil in Brazil.

-By Alastair Stewart; Dow Jones Newswires; 5511 2847-4520; alastair.stewart@dowjones.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

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