SOURCE: Digicel


April 15, 2010 05:57 ET

Statement Regarding London High Court Decision on Digicel's Court Action Against Cable & Wireless Communications plc

KINGSTON, JAMAICA--(Marketwire - April 15, 2010) - We are extremely disappointed with the decision of the High Court in London with regard to Digicel's court action against Cable & Wireless Communications plc and related entities with respect to their alleged engagement in illegal behaviour designed to frustrate and delay Digicel's entry into various markets in the Caribbean. Following this decision, Digicel is currently considering its legal options.

The case was taken by Digicel in 2007 to challenge the actions of Cable & Wireless Communications plc in obstructing Digicel's efforts to roll out mobile phone networks in St. Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Grenada, Barbados, the Cayman Islands, Trinidad & Tobago and the Turks & Caicos Islands between 2002 and 2006.

Mr. Justice Morgan variously describes senior executives of TSTT (which is a telecoms firm in Trinidad & Tobago part owned by Cable & Wireless Communications plc) and its contractor, Nortel, as:

  • acting "contrary to honest practices" and thereby breaking the law in Trinidad with two defined breaches of the Protection Against Unfair Competition Act 1996
  • deliberately giving false or misleading evidence at the trial

Separately, in the Turks & Caicos Islands, Cable & Wireless West Indies was found to have been in breach of the contract it had with Digicel.

Whilst Mr. Justice Morgan has ruled against Digicel on various points of law related to this court action, the outcome should be attributed to the weak regulatory frameworks in place in these Caribbean jurisdictions. Indeed, the Judge himself described the legislation as being "poorly drafted."

As a champion of competition for the good of consumers, Digicel believes that Cable & Wireless Communications plc should be brought to book. As such, Digicel will be asking the Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad & Tobago (TATT) to conduct a full inquiry into this matter to determine whether punitive action should be taken against TSTT in Trinidad -- particularly taking into account the Judge's finding that TSTT and Nortel conspired to produce false and misleading documents that were provided to TATT.

To be clear, the outcome of this court action has no impact on Digicel's operations or customer base across the globe. Digicel is proud to be the leading mobile provider across the Caribbean and to be delivering its special brand of best value, best service and best network mobile communications to 10.7 million customers across its 32 markets worldwide.

After eight years of operation, Digicel has 9.1 million customers across its Caribbean and Central American markets and is renowned for competitive rates, unbeatable coverage, superior customer care, a wide variety of products and services and state-of-the-art handsets. By offering innovative wireless services and community support, Digicel has become a leading brand in the Caribbean and has placed the region at the cutting-edge of wireless communications. The company is also a recent entrant to the Central American market in Panama and Honduras, where is has 1.6 million subscribers.

Digicel is incorporated in Bermuda and now has operations in 32 markets worldwide. Its Caribbean and Central American markets comprise: Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Aruba, Barbados, Bermuda, Bonaire, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Curacao, Dominica, El Salvador, French Guiana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Panama, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago and Turks & Caicos. The Caribbean company also has coverage in St. Martin and St. Barts. Pacific markets comprise: Fiji, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu.

In total, across its 32 markets, Digicel has over 10.7 million subscribers.

Digicel is the lead sponsor of Caribbean and Central American sports teams, including the West Indies Cricket Team and Special Olympics teams throughout the region. Digicel is also the title sponsor of the Digicel Caribbean Championships and the Copa de Naciones Digicel, which are the Caribbean and Central American qualifiers to the CONCACAF Gold Cup. And in the Pacific, Digicel is the proud sponsor of several national rugby teams including the Digicel Fiji 7s, Digicel Tonga Ikale Tahi 7s and 15s and the Digicel Vanuatu 7s and 15s. Digicel also sponsors the Vanuatu Cricket team.

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