Telecommunication provider Digicel says it is “naturally concerned about the clear and obvious challenges and potential issues posed” by the announced proposed acquisition of Columbus International Inc. by Cable and Wireless Communications (CWC).

Columbus and CWC said in a release on thursdy that the proposed acquisition, valued at US$3.025 billion will enable the combined company to significantly accelerate its growth strategy, improve service delivery to customers in the region, offer customers a comprehensive portfolio of high-quality products and services, and strengthen their position against larger competitors,” the release said.

Digicel, in a separate release, said it notes the announcement but was concerned from a regulatory and competition perspective.

“We are naturally concerned to ensure that this proposed transaction will not result in an uneven playing field in the Caribbean. We look forward to engaging constructively and responsibly with all relevant agencies and bodies to the fullest extent necessary to ensure that fair and vibrant competition is maintained in the Caribbean region, and that the interests of all Caribbean consumers are fully protected,” Digicel Group CEO, Colm Delves said.

Digicel said it understands that the proposed acquisition will require significant regulatory approvals from a number of bodies in the region, including ministerial approvals, approvals from regulatory bodies as well as approvals from certain anti-trust agencies.

“Digicel looks forward to being provided with further details of the proposed transaction so as to allow it to make considered submissions to those bodies as is appropriate and necessary,” the company said in a statement.

“This proposed transaction raises a considerable number of issues for telecommunications regulation and competition generally in the region. The issues that will need to be addressed include such matters as fairness in spectrum allocations, local loop unbundling, price bundling generally, as well as a myriad of other likely issues which will only become apparent once Digicel and other agencies and bodies have been fully appraised of the details of the proposed transaction, and the likely resultant impact on the telecoms market in the region,” the statement said.

Digicel, however, said it is “confident that the proposed transaction will be considered in the context of a transparent and fair process sponsored by the relevant agencies with responsibility for these matters, and that it will be afforded a full and fair opportunity to engage in the approvals process given its status as a major telecommunications provider in the Caribbean region.”

4 replies on “DIGICEL ‘concerned’ about proposed acquisition of Columbus Int’l by Cable & Wireless”

  1. All of us should be concerned with monopoly capitalism. Remember when Cable and Wireless ruled the telecom industry here? Do we want to go back to the days of sky-high prices and bottom of the barrel service? Well, this is what will happen again with this consolidation.

    We should all tell the politicians to say NO to this acquisition and YES to competition.

    1. Am concerned too but was anybody concerned when Digicel merged with Claro in Jamaica and bought out AT&T in the region or when they bought Telstar cable or SportSmax

  2. Richard Ashton says:

    Personally I am horrified at this proposed merger. As a legacy business, Cable and Wireless, perhaps better known now as Lime, are not and never have been innovators but simply react to trends and competition from others.
    For years they offered a basic 0.5mb and only ever increased that when Karib came into the market; more recently they were offering, in the main, a 2mb service with Columbus giving 10mb for the same price.
    Obviously their reaction is that as they do not want to face real competition the simplest solution is to buy out, and then in time shut down, that competition.
    Hopefully the powers that be and, as far as SVG is concerned, that is Apollo Knight, will recognise that competition between two businesses with one owner simply cannot exist, restrict their individual licences and immediately look to the market to find other companies that are prepared to enter the Eastern Caribbean marketplace and provide real competition so we, the purchasing public, can enjoy the benefits that would bring to the region

  3. Am concerned too but was anybody concerned when Digicel merged with Claro in Jamaica and bought out AT&T in the region or when they bought Telstar cable or SportSmax.

Comments are closed.