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C&W wins High Court victory against Digicel

Published on Sunday, April 18, 2010 Email To Friend    Print Version



In a statement released Thursday, 15 April, Cable & Wireless Communications, LIME’s parent company, announced it successfully defended itself in the UK High Court against Digicel’s claims that it delayed Digicel’s entry into the Caribbean telecom market between 2002 and 2006.

Mr Justice Morgan handed down a judgment in the High Court dismissing all the claims brought by Digicel, except in the Turks & Caicos, where he found a minor breach of contract, but ruled it caused Digicel no delay and, thus, no loss.

Cable & Wireless Communications will now take action against Digicel to seek the reimbursement of its attorney and court fees in the case.

“This is a resounding victory for Cable & Wireless Communications,” said Tony Rice, Cable & Wireless Communications CEO, who maintained that the case was “pointless,” arguing against the veracity of Digicel’s claim for several hundreds of millions of pounds of lost revenue.

“We maintained throughout that the case was baseless,” said Mr Rice, “and the UK High Court has now vindicated this. I am delighted that we have won and are now free from this unnecessary distraction.”

According to Cable & Wireless, the case involved claims that the Cable & Wireless Communications Group had breached the telecoms statutes in six Caribbean territories, including Barbados, Cayman, St Lucia, St Vincent & the Grenadines, Grenada and the Turk & Caicos, because 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 case heard from 43 witnesses over 77 sitting days in the High Court in London.

The ruling follows LIME’s other recent court victories over Digicel, according to the statement, including its successful defence with the Jamaica Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) against 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; and the dismissal of Digicel’s contempt of court claims brought against officers of LIME in connection in the same international calls dispute, June, 2009.

“At LIME, our approach to business is clear,” said David Shaw, the CEO of LIME. “We’re focused on winning for our customers, which means operating with integrity and delivering solutions that customers expect and deserve.

“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,” he added. “This victory certainly gives us some momentum to get on with the task at hand.”
 
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