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Consumer the casualty of non-competition

Published:Wednesday | November 26, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Consumer the casualty of no competition


Following a plethora of commentary across Jamaican media over the past number of weeks in regard to Cable & Wireless' acquisition of Flow, I would like to add my two cents, for I can no longer stay quiet.

While the argument that is playing out between these companies and Digicel is similar to schoolyard antics, it is rather unhelpfully doing little to focus people's minds on the real issues.

Put plainly, anyone who thinks that this deal will be beneficial to the economies it impacts - be it consumers, employees, stimulation, growth or development - is being fooled.

It is not Digicel that should be worried; it's the people of this country, many of whom are very likely to lose their jobs as C&W and Flow create their so-called 'synergies' in the coming months and years.

In addition, as a consumer, going from two options to one for home broadband and TV, I don't doubt for one second that rates will soon start to creep up as service rapidly diminishes. (Digicel says it will be providing these services, but who knows how long that will take?)

This deal brings about reduced competition - something we know the consumer will pay for in the end. Without competition, there is no drive to improve and keep customers satisfied; no motivation to deliver better, faster, more accessible services that allow us to compete on the world stage.

Without competition, companies take consumers for granted and trudge along doing the minimum to keep them, knowing they have no choice but to stay.

It is imperative that those in the positions to do so put in place the necessary restrictions in order to ensure we are not left with no choice to take what we're given by LIME.


Stony Hill, Kingston 9