LIME faces opposition to BTC deal in the Bahamas

| 22/03/2011

(CNS): Protestors in the Bahamas were marching outside the parliament in Nassau on Monday, over the government’s controversial decision to sell off a majority share of the country’s telephone company to LIME. Fifty-one percent of Bahamas Telecommunications Company will be handed over to Cable the firm under a deal signed by Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham which is being debated in parliament this week according to the local press. Opponents of the sale are concerned about the expected redundancies and a local union is trying to stop the sale through the courts. The President of the National Congress of Trade Unions of the Bahamas Jennifer Isaacs Dotson said a number of affiliated unions under the NCTUB were supporting the action.

“Whatever we do we need to combine our efforts. There is no sense in us separating our efforts to try to get the government to change [its] mind in selling BTC, so we’re all here together and working together in collaboration tostill say to the government, stop, review and cancel this decision to sell,” he told the Nassau Guardian.

Meanwhile, in Jamaica LIME wants the Fair Trading Commission to assess the deal between its rival Digicel and America Movil. Digicel announced earlier this month that it had signed an agreement with America Movil to acquire Claro business in Jamaica, and sell businesses in El Salvador and Honduras.
The financial terms of the transactions have not been disclosed.

LIME, said the merger is important to the telecoms sector and should be carefully assessed by the government, the Office of Utilities regulation and the Fair Trading Commission. The opposition People’s National Party has raised concern over possible consequences for competition and prices for the consumer when the number of telecoms providers reverts to two.


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