TRC accuses Digicel and LIME of anti-competitive behaviour in BVI

6 Jun 2012

The Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) has announced that it has found evidence of anti-competitive behaviour by both Digicel and LIME towards CCT Global Communications in the Virgin Islands (UK), and will be imposing an order and a fine on both companies. In a statement issued 1 June 2012 the TRC stated that that the duo’s actions would ‘cause CCT to find it harder to compete in the future. As the level of competition reduces, prices could ultimately increase for consumers, leading to long-term harm to the welfare of consumers in the British Virgin Islands’. Whilst welcoming the news, CCT noted that the decision took a long time coming; managing director Jose Fernandez told the Virgin Islands News Online that the company’s original complaint was initially filed almost three years ago, in July 2009. The decision made by the TRC relates to calls made from the Virgin Islands (UK) or British Virgin Islands, to other destinations within the Caribbean region. Such are the preferential pan-Caribbean call prices and termination rates afforded to Digicel and LIME subscribers, the CCT complained that it was unable to compete effectively in the local wireless sector. Ayana Hull, chairman of the board of the TRC, said: ‘The board has considered all the facts and evidence before it and we have been advised by independent experts unconnected to the BVI. In the face of clear anti-competitive behaviour we are impelled to take action to stop this conduct and to safeguard the long-term welfare of the BVI consumer’.

Virgin Islands (U.K.), CCT (BVI), Digicel (BVI), Flow (BVI)