No plan to renationalize long distance carrier, says ministry

A press release from the Communications Ministry in response to an article published by Jornal do Brasil on Thursday, July 4, denies any plan to take Embratel back into public ownership or intervene in the long-distance carrier under the provisions of the General Telecommunications Act. ?Embratel does not match any of the hypotheses provided for in the Act as justifications for intervention?, the press release says. TELETIME News has learned, however, that Anatel is determined to intervene if there is the slightest evidence of deteriorating quality of service or financial difficulties that could force Embratel to suspend service. This would be in line with Article 110 of the Act. As reported in previous issues of TELETIME News, some time ago Anatel retained auditors to monitor Embratel and the other privatized telcos. The auditors have redoubled their attention since WorldCom removed Embratel from its consolidated balance sheet, suggesting the intention to sell before Brazilian law allows ownership changes in privatized telcos. Anatel hasn?t intervened yet because it hasn?t detected signs that WorldCom?s collapse has ?contaminated? the Brazilian operation.

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