AMX, Telefonica Brasil, Oi, TIM expected to take part in auction

|By:, SA News Editor

The Brazilian government plans to sell TV airwaves in the low-frequency 700-MHz. band (good for rural areas and in-building coverage) to mobile carriers. America Movil (AMX +2.2%), Telefonica Brasil (VIV -0.2%), Oi (OIBR +5.9%), and TIM Participacoes (TSU -2%) are expected to take part.

Analyst Luis Azevedo thinks total auction expenses could top 7B reais ($3B), after factoring costs related to moving broadcasters to other spectrum and reducing interference. Unlike past auctions, the spectrum sale doesn't come with coverage requirements.

Bidding is expected to start in August. The auction announcement comes with TIM's future still up in the air. Telefonica's efforts to up its stake in TIM parent Telecom Italia have fueled expectations TI will sell TIM. Regulators have suggested they'd prefer TIM be sold to an outside party, rather than acquired piecemeal by its rivals.