LIME fails to block Digicel and Claro’s Jamaican marriage

Caribbean operator LIME, a subsidiary of Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC), has had its application to block the merger of the Jamaican arms of rival cellcos Digicel and Claro rejected.

LIME had litigated to force Jamaica’s Fair Trade Commission (FTC) and the country’s Prime Minister Bruce Golding to prevent the merger, which it has claimed is anti-competitive, but was overruled by Jamaica’s Supreme Court.

Justice Brian Sykes said that the FTC had already taken into account the impact of the move on consumers and had not diverged from the country’s Telecommunications Act.

Digicel Jamaica has dismissed LIME’s move as ‘a cynical attempt to block a deal that is clearly permissible by the law’. If a likely appeal by LIME is also turned down and the deal goes through, Digicel will be required to operate Mexico-based Claro’s network separately to its own, and uphold the 90% coverage condition of its licence terms.

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