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Regional competition commission looking into CWC/Columbus merger

The controversial merger of Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC), which trades here as LIME, with Columbus International Inc, which operates as Flow, has been taken up by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Competition Commission.

In a statement today, the regional body said it had already taken note of the proposed transaction as part of its business monitoring activity within the CARICOM Single Market and Economy.

The Commission has also launched an internal preliminary assessment of the matter and has promised to announce the findings of the review.

“The Commission wishes to state that regardless of jurisdiction (national or regional), it is vital that the Governments of member states and regulators ensure the principles of competition are considered in the review process for making a determination on this transaction.

“It is vital that the impact on competition of the proposed transaction be considered in a thorough manner, and that any determination made is designed with competition enhancing outcomes in mind,” the statement said.

The Commission’s mandate is to implement the key objectives of Article 169 on Community Competition Policy namely the promotion and maintenance of competition and enhancement of economic efficiency; prohibition of anti-competitive conduct; and the promotion of consumer welfare and protection of consumer interests.

It is therefore a strong advocate for efficiency in national and regional markets in the CSME and for benefits to be shared among all stakeholders in an equitable manner.

As a regulator, it is also committed to a process that is fair and transparent in the determination of any regulatory matter where the interests of both business and consumers must be considered.

The Fair Trading Commission (FTC) in Barbados is also examining the US$3 billion deal. 

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