VW. BP. And Oi? One of These Mega Fines Is Not Like the Others

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When it comes to companies saddled with multibillion-dollar fines, Oi SA sits on a very short list. But the Brazil telecom giant stands out in the notorious club that includes Volkswagen AG, Odebrecht SA and BP Plc. The German carmaker and Odebrecht, a Brazilian builder, each got hit with mega fines after years-long schemes that swindled governments and consumers, Bloomberg News reported. Odebrecht’s misdeeds even helped tip Latin America’s largest nation into a two-year depression that reduced gross domestic product by almost 10 percent. And Oi’s sin? It didn’t fix phone booths fast enough. Brazil’s largest land-line operator, which filed for bankruptcy protection more than a year ago, racked up 10 billion reais ($3.2 billion) in penalties under a 1997 law that even the nation’s telecom regulator says became nonsensical in an age when everyone and their mothers tote around smartphones. Read more.