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Telefonica's Alierta and Cesares to step down

In possible effort to appease Brazil, EU anti-trust regulators

13 December, 19:45
Telefonica's Alierta and Cesares to step down (ANSA) - Milan, December 13 - Madrid-based Telefonica SA Chairman and CEO Cesar Alierta and former COO Julio Linares are allegedly willing to step down from the board of directors in an effort to appease Brazilian and other anti-trust regulators, sources said Friday. Brazilian antitrust regulator Cade on December 5 told the company it must reduce its influence in Brazil's phone business, either by reducing its holdings or by persuading partner Telecom Italia SpA to sell its local unit.

Telefonica also faces tough regulatory scrutiny from the European Union, where antitrust regulators reportedly said Thursday they will open an in-depth probe into its proposed 8.6-billion-euro takeover of KPN's German unit next week.

Telefonica announced the deal in July, which reportedly could put it on an equal footing with market leaders Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone.