Authorities looking at Digicel/Claro deal
KINGSTON, Jamaica, Monday April 4, 2011 – The Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) and the Fair Trading Commission (FTC) are consulting on the proposed merger of telecommunications firms, Digicel and Claro, before the two get the green light to finalise their deal.
Minister with responsibility for Information, Telecommunications and Special Projects, Daryl Vaz, said the utilities and consumer watchdog agencies will be seeking to get details of the deal from both companies.
Digicel announced last month that it will acquire Claro in Jamaica and sell its own businesses in El Salvador and Honduras to Claro’s parent company, América Móvil. The details of the transaction have still not yet been disclosed.
Vaz said he has instructed the OUR to meet with Digicel and Claro to get a better understanding of the deal, “because up until now, we don’t know”.
“It’s a commercial arrangement, and therefore we would never want for the Government to drag its feet…I am hoping that in short order we can get to the stage where a decision can be made,” he explained.
A week after Digicel announced the Claro deal, its rival LIME requested that authorities take a close look at the transaction.
LIME’s Managing Director Garry Sinckler issued a statement in which he said that considering the significance of the merger to the Jamaican telecommunications industry, the government, the OUR and FTC should carefully assess the deal, before approval is given by the relevant minister.
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