C&W plans legal action against competitor

| 16/04/2010

(CNS): Following a judgment in favour of Cable & Wireless Communications, LIME’s parent company yesterday in the UK, the communications firm said it will now take action against Digicel to seek the reimbursement of its costs for defending the suit brought by its competitor. Digicel had claimed that C&W had unlawfully delayed its entry into the Caribbean telecoms market between 2002 and 2006. According to C&W Justice Morgan handed down a judgment dismissing the claims except for the case of Turks & Caicos where he found a breach of contract but ruled it caused Digicel no delay and thus no loss.

 
The firm said it would now take action against Digicel to seek the reimbursement of its costs of defending the matter. Tony Rice, Cable & Wireless Communications CEO described the ruling as a “resounding victory” for C&W.
“This case has been a pointless waste of time and money. It was brought by Digicel on the eve of our AGM in July 2007 amid a fanfare of publicity and a statement that its claim was for several hundreds of millions of pounds. We maintained throughout that the case was baseless, and the UK High Court has now vindicated this. I am delighted that we have won and are now free from this unnecessary distraction,” he said
 
David Shaw, the CEO of LIME said he believed thethat the UK court had seen through Digicel’s accusations asthe firm had alwasys maintained.
 
“At LIME, our approach to business is clear. We’re focused on winning for our customers which means operating with integrity and delivering solutions that customers expect and deserve,” he said.“We can now put aside unnecessary distractions and get down to the challenge of growing our business in the face of the economic challenges facing Caribbean markets. This victory certainly gives us some momentum to get on with the task at hand.”
 
The case involved claims that the Cable & Wireless Communications Group had breached the telecoms statutes in six Caribbean territories (Barbados, Cayman, St Lucia, St Vincent & the Grenadines, Grenada and the Turk & Caicos Islands) which Digicel was entering as a competitor to Cable & Wireless (now LIME) between 2002-06. Similar allegations were also made against TSTT, the Trinidad & Tobago-based telecom operator, in which Cable & Wireless Communications holds a minority stake.
 
Digicel also alleged senior management of Cable & Wireless plc, the then parent company of Cable & Wireless Communications Group, had been involved in a ‘conspiracy’ to delay its entry into these markets..
 
The judgment dismissed the claims in the seven territories and the overarching conspiracy claim with the minor exception that the Judge found a breach of a short letter agreement with Digicel in the Turks & Caicos Islands, but which he ruled caused Digicel no delay and thus no loss.
The case was heard over 77 sitting days in the High Court in London, UK, and heard evidence from 43 witnesses.
 
The ruling follows LIME’s other recent court victories over Digicel including: Its successful defence, with the Jamaica Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR), of Digicel’s appeal to the UK Privy Council on interconnection and call termination rates (January, 2010)
An injunction against Digicel ordering it to restore circuits it blocked in a dispute over international calls (February, 2010)
The dismissal of Digicel’s contempt of court claims brought against officers of LIME in connection in the same international calls dispute (June, 2009)
 

Category: Business

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