Digicel Fiji still waiting on ministry concerning special licence for Sky Pacific purchase

9 Dec 2015

Three months after it completed the acquisition of Sky Pacific, a division of Fiji Television, for FJD5.75 million (USD2.66 million), telecoms services provider Digicel Fiji has clarified that it has not yet received the final Special Licence required to complete the takeover. Digicel Fiji CEO Darren McLean is quoted by local newspaper Fiji Village as saying that, to date, his company has only received documents from the Ministry of Communications with ‘draft versions’ of the special conditions, which needed ‘to be agreed to before proceeding’. Mr McLean said: ‘Digicel and the ministry are working together closely to clarify the conditions in detail and ensure that the intended transaction is in the best interest of all parties including government, Digicel, and Sky Pacific customers.’

As reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, in October this year the status of Digicel Fiji’s subscription-based pay-TV service was said to be ‘in limbo’, amid heel-dragging from the government on issuing it with the appropriate operating licence. Following the September deal, Digicel submitted an application for an operating licence with the Ministry of Communications, as per the rules set down in the Media Industry Development Decree. Digicel Fiji attorney-general Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum was quoted at the time as saying, however, that it was still waiting for the ministry to make a decision. ‘Until such time, no statements should be made regarding the operational control of or any content to be shown by Sky Pacific service,’ he said, adding: ‘It is premature for Digicel to announce any programming or content materials before the issuance of a licence.’

Fiji, Digicel Fiji, Sky Pacific (Fiji)