Statement Regarding London High Court Decision On Digicel’s Court Action Against Cable & Wireless Communications Plc

We are extremely disappointed with the decision of the High Court in London with regard to Digicel’s court action against Cable & Wireless Communications plc and related entities with respect to their alleged engagement in illegal behaviour designed to frustrate and delay Digicel’s entry into various markets in the Caribbean. Following this decision, Digicel is currently considering its legal options.

The case was taken by Digicel in 2007 to challenge the actions of Cable & Wireless Communications plc in obstructing our efforts to roll out mobile phone networks in St Lucia, St Vincent & the Grenadines, Grenada, Barbados, the Cayman Islands, Trinidad & Tobago and the Turks & Caicos Islands between 2002 and 2006.

Mr Justice Morgan variously describes senior executives of TSTT (which is a telecoms firm in Trinidad & Tobago part owned by Cable & Wireless Communications PLC) and its contractors, Nortel, as:

  • acting “contrary to honest practices” and thereby breaking the law in Trinidad with two defined breaches of the Protection Against Unfair Competition Act 1996
  • deliberately giving false or misleading evidence at the trial

Separately, in the Turks & Caicos Islands, Cable & Wireless West Indies was found to have been in breach of the contract it had with Digicel.

Whilst Mr. Justice Morgan has ruled against Digicel on various points of law related to this court action, the outcome should be attributed to the weak regulatory frameworks in place in these Caribbean jurisdictions. Indeed, the Judge himself described the legislation as being “poorly drafted”.

As a champion of competition for the good of consumers, Digicel believes that Cable & Wireless Communications plc should be brought to book. As such, Digicel will be asking the Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad & Tobago (TATT) to conduct a full inquiry into this matter to determine whether punitive action should be taken against TSTT in Trinidad – particularly taking into account the Judge’s finding that TSTT and Nortel conspired to produce false and misleading documents that were provided to TATT.

To be clear, the outcome of this court action has no impact on Digicel’s operations or customer base across the globe. Digicel is proud to be the leading mobile provider across the Caribbean and to be delivering its special brand of best value, best service and best network mobile communications to 10.7 million customers across its 32 markets worldwide.