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Digicel calls on ECTEL to clarify status of Lime/Flow deal review

Published:Saturday | March 28, 2015 | 3:49 AM

Digicel is calling on the Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (‘ECTEL’) to clarify the status of the regulatory approvals process in relation to the proposed merger between Cable and Wireless Communications (‘CWC’) and FLOW/Columbus Communications.

The regulatory process is being undertaken by ECTEL in conjunction with the National Telecommunications Regulatory Commissions (‘NTRCs’).

Digicel’s call follows a decision by the Barbados Fair Trading Commission yesterday to grant a conditional approval for the merger.

The Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (‘TATT’) has also granted a conditional approval for the merger.

However, Digicel says the proposed merger between Columbus and CWC involves the creation of a monopoly and strong potential anti-competitive effects in the markets for landline, broadband and Cable TV in Grenada, St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines.

According to Digicel Group CEO , Colm Delves,  the company “is now respectfully calling upon ECTEL to clarify the process for regulatory approvals for the proposed merger in the OECS Member States”.

He says the company believes that ECTEL and the NTRCs in each Member State have an absolute legal and moral right to subject the proposed merger to a rigorous examination and approvals process in collaboration with their respective Governments and relevant Ministerial bodies before it is allowed to proceed.

“We are seeking clarification from ECETL as to the present position in this regard. 

We believe that the consumers, as well as the industry as a whole, in St Lucia, Grenada and St Vincent and the Grenadines would certainly welcome such clarification and we look forward to receiving such prompt confirmation from ECTEL” said Delves.