Telecommunications companies in Brazil finally got what they wanted: kill free messaging services used by people who can't afford costly plans.
WhatsApp, the popular messaging service that Facebook bought for $19 billion in 2014, has been banned for two days in Brazil, Brazilian newspapers reported. The court order, which commanded telecommunications companies to block the messaging service, was given by the 1st Criminal Court of São Bernardo do Campo in São Paulo.
The blockade will take effect on Thursday, December 17, at midnight, and will end after 48 hours. Brazilian telecommunication companies like Hi, Vivo, TIM, and Claro were surprised by the decision. These companies have been lobbying the government to declare WhatsApp illegal in the country.
It is estimated that 93 percent of Internet users in Brazil are using the messaging service to undercut costly phone plans. However, Telebrasil, also known as the Brazilian Association of Telecommunications, said that the court's decision has nothing to do with the interest of telecoms. Apparently, the court's decision cited WhatsApp's failure to respond to a criminal case.
“Because WhatsApp did not respond to a court order of July 23, 2015, on August 7, 2015, the company was again notified, with there being a fixed penalty in case of non-compliance. As yet the company did not attend the court order, the prosecution requested the blocking of services for a period of 48 hours, based on the law, which was granted by Judge Sandra Regina Nostre Marques,” the court said in a statement.
The judge did not name the petitioner of the injunction. Jan Koum, the founder of WhatsApp, expressed his disappointment of the ruling. “We are disappointed in the short-sighted decision to cut off access to WhatsApp, a communication tool that so many Brazilians have come to depend on, and sad to see Brazil isolate itself from the rest of the world,” he said.
Don't Miss: Sam's Club Black Friday 2016 Details