The saga of the sale of troubled Brazil operator Oi’s mobile assets to the local units of Telefonica, America Movil and Telecom Italia took another turn, as the country’s competition authority was reportedly advised to block the deal.

Reuters reported the Federal Prosecutor’s Office was pushing Brazil’s competition authority Cade to have the agreement thrown out.

A deal has been on the table for more than a year, but the prosecutor’s department is reportedly conernced about an alleged competition violation and potential “exclusionary practices”.

In November 2021, Cade’s General Superintendence group recommended the deal should be approved, after agreeing a number of concessions on the original arrangement with the would-be buyers.

The provisional order was referred to Cade’s wider organisation for a final decision. It is set to be discussed at a meeting scheduled for 9 February.

After months of speculation on the future of debt-laden Oi, an auction bid from the three rivals to buy and split the struggling operator’s mobile assets was accepted in late 2020.

After a consultation, telecoms regulator Anatel finally signed-off the agreement last week.

Oi filed for bankruptcy protection in June 2016 and has subsequently been trying to offload its mobile operation.