September 27, 2020

CWC deal good for customers

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letterpen423x63013655-450x303By Chris Dehring, From Barbados Nationnews

I was pleased to read that Mark Linehan, former chief executive officer (CEO) of and current CEO of , has taken note of our recent visits to various states, and acknowledged the importance of engaging with key stakeholders. I couldn’t agree more.

That’s exactly why leaders of both Cable & Wireless and Columbus (Flow), myself included, have been meeting with the regulators and governments across the Caribbean to outline the salient details of the merger and show due respect for our leaders and the regulatory process.

Leaders in the business, like myself, live and operate in the Caribbean, not in Miami as assumed incorrectly, although we do have senior leadership based in Miami for ease of travel throughout the region. Aside from correcting that assumption, I would like to make a couple of points.

First, as chairman of the Jamaica business, I recall Mr Lineham proclaiming in his various Press releases at the time of Digicel’s acquisition of Claro in that market a few years ago – a market where they were already dominant with over 85 per cent market share – that the acquisition which gave them almost 90 per cent market share “would spur innovation and investment that will benefit consumers . . .”, as quoted in our newspapers.

On that same acquisition, another Digicel spokesperson was quoted as saying that “market consolidation is the natural evolution when a market is fully penetrated”. I presume therefore that our merger with Flow and the benefits that will derive similarly for consumers will have Mr Lineham’s full support.

Secondly, it is important to point out that even combined, Flow and Cable & Wireless will still be smaller than the “Bigger, Better Network” as Digicel proudly has proclaimed since I can remember. So while I expect Digicel to continue to dominate the market, we certainly hope to be able to provide much stiffer competition than we had in the past, all of which will redound to the benefit of Barbadians and Caribbean consumers.

Third, let’s not forget that Digicel has been acquiring companies in the Caribbean at a rapid rate – 20 in the last ten years, including television companies and offshore cable, and rolling out fibre in Barbados. That’s a good sign that Digicel is more than capable of maintaining its dominance in the region through investment and vigorous competition.

The bottom line is, we believe this deal will be good for customers in Barbados and the wider Caribbean, offering a faster, better delivery of quad play service for mobile, fixed, broadband and television.

We will continue to respect our regulators and leaders and address any and all concerns they might share with us in the very cordial and productive meetings we have had to date.

Chris Dehring is Head of Government & Regulatory, CWC

For more on this story go to: http://www.nationnews.com/nationnews/letters_to_editor/60485/cwc-deal-customers#sthash.ksitRVd3.dpuf

See also iNews Cayman related story published December 9 2014 “Digicel could scale back Caribbean investment” at: https://www.ieyenews.com/wordpress/digicel-could-scale-back-caribbean-investment/

 

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