Correction: CWP and ClaroCOM end stand-off

4 Aug 2006

Panama’s fixed line incumbent Cable & Wireless Panama (CWP) and alternative telecoms operator Galaxy Communications (which operates as ClaroCOM) have reached an agreement to end a long running litigation battle. The agreement relates to number of suits and counter-suits filed between the two parties, including a claim filed by ClaroCOM against CWP, seeking USD135 million compensation from the incumbent for it allegedly committing ‘a variety of market abuses and refusing to comply with the established regulations,’ which ClaroCOM said led to an effective extension of CWP’s monopoly. Last month a court upheld CWP’s claim for ClaroCOM’s assets to be frozen for alleged unfair practices of its own. CWP claimed ClaroCOM and another rival, TeleCarrier, were providing unfair incentives for CWP users to switch to their internet services, knowing that it would result in CWP having to pay interconnection fees above cost price.

CWP and ClaroCOM have now agreed to settle their differences. The details of the agreement have not been disclosed, but CWP was keen to point out that no money had been exchanged and neither party recognised any wrongdoing, adding that both companies felt it was necessary to drop all judicial and regulatory claims filed over the years to ensure a proper environment. CWP says the understanding reached between CWP and ClaroCOM ‘is wide enough to ensure a proper commercial and business relationship between both companies,’ and is hopeful of avoiding future litigation whilst paving the way for co-operation on market and policy issues.