CARICOM Competition Commission to investigate telecoms merger

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PARAMARIBO, Suriname — The CARICOM Competition Commission (CCC) has, pursuant to Article 176.1 of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas (RTC), completed its preliminary examination of the agreement by Cable and Wireless Communications Plc (CWC) to acquire Columbus International Inc. and has reached the conclusion that an investigation is warranted.

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In this regard, the CCC will now undertake to complete the remaining procedural steps under Article 176 of the RTC to further progress this matter.

Given that the findings of the preliminary examination indicate that an investigation is required, in accordance with Article 176.4 of the RTC, the CCC will hold consultations with the member states concerned to determine and agree on its jurisdiction to investigate the business transaction.

Article 176.5 further states that: “If there is a difference of opinion between the Commission and the member state regarding the nature and effects of the business conduct or the jurisdiction of the investigating authority, the Commission shall:

(a) cease any further examination of the matter; and

(b) refer the matter to COTED for its decision.”

Article 176.6 further provides that: “Nothing in this Article shall prejudice the right of the member state to initiate proceedings before the court at any time.”

Article 176.7 then concludes by stating that: “Where there is a finding that the Commission has jurisdiction to investigate the matter, the Commission shall follow the procedures set out in paragraphs 5, 6, 7 and 8 of Article 175".”

The CCC expects this consultation phase with the member states to be completed in a timely manner. The CCC will then provide an update on its next steps.

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