Both Digicel and LIME labelled as anti competitive in BVI
ROAD TOWN, British Virgin Islands, Thursday July 12, 2012 – Digicel and LIME have been found equally guilty of being anti-competitive against CCT Global Communications in their battle for market share in the British Virgin Islands (BVI).
Reports are that the BVI Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) announced in accordance with Section 75 of the Telecommunications Act, that it had concluded that the mobile operators’ respective regional offers, ‘Caribbean Calling’ (Digicel) and ‘All Talk’ (LIME), constitute an “anti-competitive margin squeeze on CCT”.
In its final decisions issued following its investigations into the anti-competitive behaviour of the two regional telecommunications giants, the commission ordered both Lime and Digicel to cease their anti-competitive behaviour and were ordered to pay fines by June 30, 2012. However, Digicel was not required to withdraw the offending plan from the market altogether.
Ayana Hull, chairman of the Commission stated, according to press reports, that: “The problem is that CCT cannot offer the same product as Digicel BVI because they cannot access Digicel’s Caribbean networks on the same terms as Digicel BVI. It appears anti-competitive that Digicel BVI’s customers can call Digicel’s Caribbean networks for a retail price which is far below the wholesale price that CCT must pay to access Digicel’s Caribbean networks. If Digicel BVI offered similar wholesale terms to CCT, then both would be able to offer cheap calls to Digicel Caribbean networks and there would be no need for Digicel BVI to withdraw their Caribbean plans. Digicel (BVI) could also revise the terms of the Caribbean plans for their customers which we hope they will consider.”
Guy Malone, chief executive officer of the commission reportedly stated that the regulator was forced to intervene because the plans “impact the long term competitive dynamic of the BVI mobile market”.