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Eastern Caribbean telecoms regulator warns Cable and Wireless about competition meltdown

The move by Cable and Wireless Communications (CWC) and Columbus Communications to create a combined business operation is not going down well with the Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority (ECTEL).

That regulatory body says that the proposed transaction can potentially result in a negative impact on competition and reducing consumers’ choice of service and service providers.

ECTEL cautions that under the current regulatory regime, telecommunications licence holders including Columbus and CWC may be in breach of their licences, if they engage in activities which may unfairly prevent, restrict or distort competition.

The impending deal between Cable and Wireless Communications and Columbus Communications will now be monitored by ECTEL and the National Telecommunication Regulatory Commissions which will then advise ministers responsible for telecommunications in the nine-member sub-region.

If the market is in problems, ECTEL can advise the ministers to intervene and protect it to ensure that consumers continue to benefit from a choice of service providers and services. 

ECTEL expresses concern that combing of CWC and Columbus will can impact negatively on the telecom sector.

The sub-regional telecoms regulator wants the OECS Commission to swiftly establish the OECS Competition Commission.