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Digicel urges clear decision on sale of CWC shares in TSTT

CEO of Digicel Trinidad and Tobago, Sacha Thompson CEO of Digicel Trinidad and Tobago, Sacha Thompson
Regional mobile provider Digicel says before any approval is granted for the proposed merger between CWC and Columbus in Trinidad and Tobago, the Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (TATT) must insist on an actual binding share sale/purchase agreement showing the divestment by Cable and Wireless Communications (CWC) of its 49 per cent shareholding in TSTT.

In a statement, Digicel said in order for TATT’s decision to have any validity or actual impact in terms of preserving competition, international best practice and plain common sense dictates that what must occur prior to regulatory approval being provided in Trinidad and Tobago is unequivocal proof of an actual binding commitment to divest the shares to a named third party.

In its decision on March 12, TATT stated the proposed merger would likely be expected to “...result in adverse effects on competition in the markets for fixed voice, broadband, pay TV and related wholesale services in Trinidad and Tobago…” and that it “…would likely lead to a significant impairment of competition in the domestic communications market in Trinidad and Tobago…”

CEO of Digicel Trinidad and Tobago, Sacha Thompson, in a recent statement said “While we support broadly the position adopted by TATT, we would strongly urge that the clear spirit of the decision, requiring as it does a clear and unambiguous divestment by CWC of the 49 per cent is actually delivered in an open and transparent manner rather than loosely committed to by CWC in some nod and a wink fashion to come down the road.

The people of Trinidad and Tobago must see that the divestment is actually going to occur before this merger is allowed to happen. It is only with this required proof of an actual divestment that the TATT decision can have any actual substantive impact in terms of mitigating what are the clearly understood anti-competitive effects of the proposed merger in Trinidad and Tobago.”

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