Brazil Supreme Court sends telecom bill back to Senate

SAO PAULO, Oct 6 (Reuters) - Brazil’s Supreme Court ordered the head of the Senate to reconsider proposed amendments to a bill overhauling regulation of telecommunications companies in a decision announced late on Thursday, holding up enactment of the long-awaited new rules.

The telecom reform is aimed at updating a concession-based model that had created uncertainty about the value of the industry’s fixed-line assets.

In the ruling, Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes ordered the head of the Senate to analyze the amendments proposed to the bill and, if all formal requirements are met, submit them to a vote before the full chamber of the Senate.

The order comes after 13 opposition senators sought an injunction barring President Michel Temer from signing the bill into law, the Supreme Court said in a statement on its website. The bill was poised to become law in December after passing committees in both houses of Congress.

A new regulatory framework is seen as crucial to helping Brazilian carrier Oi SA to secure new investments after the company made the country’s largest ever bankruptcy filing to restructure 65 billion reais ($20.5 billion) of debt.

For years, Brazilian telecommunication companies have argued that a new regulatory framework would unlock billions of dollars of investments in an industry hampered by mandatory spending on old technology.

$1 = 3.16 reais Reporting by Ana Mano; Editing by Susan Thomas