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Cabinet approves move to amend Digicel licence ahead of termination

6 Jan 2023

The process to revoke Digicel Panama’s mobile licence appears to be underway, after the Cabinet Council authorised the government to amend the cellco’s concession (Contrato de Concesion No. 10-2008) with Addendum No. 2 last month. Cabinet Resolution No. 140, dated 13 December 2022, recommended the modification of Clause 72 of the licence to include ‘mutual agreement’ as grounds for the termination of the licence. The resolution explains that the measure has been taken in order ‘ensure fair and healthy competition in the mobile market in Panama’ and allows the authorities to press ahead with a ‘public tender to award a new mobile concession’.

In April 2022 Digicel Panama announced that it intended to apply for voluntary liquidation and withdraw from the Panamanian telecoms market as a result of the merger between Cable & Wireless Panama (CWP, +Movil) and Claro, which it said represented an ‘illegal economic concentration’. Digicel’s concession was duly transferred to the National Public Services Authority (Autoridad Nacional de los Servicios Publicos, ASEP) on 27 April 2022. On 2 August ASEP’s ‘intervention period’ was extended by a further 180 days; this is due to expire at the end of January 2023.

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