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Digicel wants TATT to withstand ‘severe pressure’from CWC

Digicel CEO John Delves Digicel CEO John Delves
Digicel wants Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (TATT) to resist what the mobile service provider says is “severe pressure” being applied by UK-based Cable and Wireless Communications (CWC) and Columbus International to approve the proposed acquisition of Columbus by CWC.

CWC announced earlier this month that it was acquiring Columbus—operator of the Flow cable network—for US$3.2 billion.
The acquisition is subject to regional and local regulatory approvals.

Under the concessions granted to Columbus in Trinidad, CWC/Columbus are obliged to seek regulatory approval from TATT to allow the change of control of Columbus’ operations in Trinidad and Tobago to CWC. Digicel said in a statement from its Port of Spain office yesterday.  

TATT is obliged to consider the application and may insist on certain conditions being applied to the proposed transaction before the change of control is approved in Trinidad and Tobago, the company said. 

 Digicel said that CWC and Columbus were seeking to railroad through this acquisition by “artificially setting purported dates for termination of their share purchase agreement”.   

Digicel said that the situation was even more serious in Trinidad and Tobago considering the fact that CWC already owns 49 per cent of TSTT.  

CEO of Digicel Trinidad and Tobago, John Delves said: “It is not for CWC or Columbus to tell TATT or any other regulatory body how to do their job or the period of time that they are allowed to do it in. 

These attempts to force their will on what is a hugely significant regulatory process must be resisted and rejected by TATT. This application to allow the acquisition of Columbus by CWC needs to be subjected to a rigorous review by TATT and a proper, considered analysis of the effects on the telecoms market and industry in Trinidad and Tobago must be conducted and acted upon.”

“We are calling on TATT to fulfil its mandate, and to be allowed to fulfil its mandate, in the best interests of the people of Trinidad and Tobago and not to be dictated to by CWC/Columbus,” he added. 

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