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Brazil Senate Opens Door for Phone Carriers to Sell Cable TV

Brazil’s Senate approved a law opening the cable-television market to telephone companies, creating new opportunities for carriers such as Tele Norte Leste Participacoes SA.

The Senate approved the bill today, Senator Jose Sarney said in Brasilia. The bill already has been passed by the lower house of Congress and awaits the signature of President Dilma Rousseff, whose administration has endorsed the measure.

Cable carriers are getting into the phone and Internet business, causing phone companies to seek to add television service to keep customers loyal. Tele Norte Leste, Brazil’s biggest fixed-line carrier, could offer TV service over its phone lines.

Oi, as Tele Norte Leste is known, and rival land-line carriers Telecomunicacoes de Sao Paulo SA and America Movil SAB already offer satellite-TV service in Brazil. Mexico City-based America Movil’s Net Servicos unit is Brazil’s largest cable carrier.

Oi, based in Rio de Janeiro, fell 17 centavos to 21.63 reais today in Sao Paulo trading. Telecomunicacoes de Sao Paulo, controlled by Madrid-based Telefonica SA, dropped 1.27 reais to 46 reais. America Movil gained 2 centavos to 14.71 pesos in Mexico City.

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