Brazil 4G auction could spur telecom merger, says regulator

SAO PAULO, July 23 Wed Jul 23, 2014 6:00pm EDT

SAO PAULO, July 23 (Reuters) - Any Brazilian wireless carrier left out of the next fourth-generation (4G) spectrum auction is likely to face merger pressure from other players, the superintendent of competition at telecom regulator Anatel said in a Wednesday interview.

Anatel's Carlos Baigorri said Grupo Oi is the Brazilian carrier facing the greatest financial difficulties ahead of the auction but that he has full confidence that the company will participate. Oi is the only major operator in Brazil that has not announced it is bidding in the auction, which will likely take place in about a month. (Reporting by Brad Haynes and Alberto Alerigi Jr.)