C&W refutes Digicel suit

Cable and Wireless plc said Digicel is using spoiling tactics in its lawsuit filed in a British Court.

‘We believe the claim is without foundation and it will be vigorously defended,’ a C&W statement said. ‘Cable & Wireless is gaining market share in the Caribbean where we are market leader in 10 out of 14 of our markets.

‘We believe that the claim is no more than a deliberate spoiling tactic by Digicel.’

Dig ice a Jamaica-based mobile telephone provider, filed a lawsuit Thursday accusing rival Cable & Wireless PLC of illegally withholding technical cooperation to delay its entry into Caribbean markets.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified compensation for lost profits, fees and market share.

Britain-based C&W, which provides telecom service in 33 countries, in regions including Asia and Europe, denied Digicel’s allegations.

Digicel claims that as it expanded across the English-speaking Caribbean between 2002 and 2006 C&W resisted interconnection and created other obstacles for the upstart company. Digicel said it also believes that it has been the victim of a coordinated effort on C&W’s part to prevent and delay Digicel launching competing mobile telephone networks in St Lucia, St Vincent & the Grenadines, Grenada, Barbados, the Cayman Islands, Trinidad & Tobago and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

“We believe that a successful claim will not only compensate Digicel for the losses it has suffered but also that it will put an end to the anticompetitive practices of C&W,” said Denis O’Brien, the Irish tycoon who owns Digicel.

Digicel, launched in 2001, has 4.7 million subscribers in 22 Caribbean markets.

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