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Call for Digicel-Claro Jamaican Merger to be Investigated

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Jamaican mobile network, Lime a subsidiary of UK based Cable and Wireless has written to the Government, the Office of Utilities Regulations (OUR) and the Fair Trading Commission (FTC) expressing concerns about the recently announced deal for Digicel to buy its local rival, Claro.

Digicel and Claro announced last week that Digicel would sell its businesses in El Salvador and Honduras to America Movil, while in turn Claro Jamaica would be sold to Digicel.

According to figures from the Mobile World analysts, the combined market share of the two companies in Jamaica comes to 80%, leaving Cable & Wireless (now rebranded as Lime) with the remaining 20%. The move has raised concerns that Digicel is effectively returning the country to a de-facto monopoly status.

The company said that given the significance of the merger to the Jamaican telecoms industry, the regulators "should carefully assess the deal, before approval is given by the relevant minister".

"As a company proudly serving Jamaica for over 140 years, providing employment for more than 1,400 Jamaican workers and with almost 25,000 Jamaican shareholders, we stand ready to cooperate with all industry players to ensure the interests of our country and the Jamaican consumer are best served," Lime's managing director, Garry Sinclair said in a brief statement.

On the web: Mobile World - Digicel - Lime

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Tags: digicel  america movil  claro  cable & wireless  lime  Jamaica