Net Serviços, Brazil's and Latin America's largest cable operator, has formally become a company majority-owned by Embratel, a Brazilian telco controlled by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim's América Móvil.
While Embratel was already seen as the de facto owner of Net, formally it wasn't.
Due to a legal restriction that prevented foreign telephony companies from owning a controlling stake in Brazilian pay-TV companies, Embratel only had a 49% interest in Net's stocks. The remaining 51% was held by the powerful Globo group, which had informally agreed it would transfer part or all of that stock to Embratel as soon as regulatory restrictions were lifted.
Such restrictions were indeed lifted last September, when president Dilma Rousseff signed into Law the so-called PLC-116 Bill that the Senate had passed the previous month.
The last remaining hurdle standing in the path of Embratel seizing control of the MSO was a final say on the matter by Anatel, the country's communications watchdog.
Late last week, Anatel finally authorised Embratel to make a move for Net, América Móvil confirmed in a statement. According to The Wall Street Journal, Embratel didn't take long to increase its stake in the cableco, boosting its ownership of shares in GB Empreendimentos (Net's holding company) from 49% to 54%.
The move has provisionally left Globo as the minority owner of the MSO, with the remaining 46% of shares.