As of Thursday, September 19, long-distance carrier Embratel must pay Telemar the full rate charged for interconnection to the LEC?s network, under a ruling issued by Judge Maria Leonor Batista Jourdan of the 29th District Court in Rio de Janeiro. Telemar had filed for an injunction. The ruling establishes a penalty of 3 million Brazilian Reals per day for non-compliance. Embratel has refused to pay the full TU-RL rate since August 2001. According to Telemar the debt has reached 219.4m BRL so far. Last week it filed suit to collect but so far that case hasn?t been judged.
Embratel tells a different story. ?Telemar are the ones who owe us,? says Pedro Martins, Embratel?s chief legal officer. ?They owe us about 300m BRL. We plan to file suit for collection of this debt very soon.? The debt arose from several factors, including use of Embratel?s network, he says. Embratel will appeal the injunction granted by the 29th court as soon as possible. ?The judge has only heard one side so far,? he says. ?When the court hears our arguments, I?m sure the decision will be reversed.? Embratel hasn?t paid the full interconnect bill charged by Telemar to date because it claims that the LEC?s traffic reports don?t match its own. ?There?s a disagreement about the amounts billed,? Mr Martins notes. In July Anatel found in favor of Telemar and told Embratel to pay the 219.4m BRL, but the long-distance carrier ignored the order.