Antigua wants to buy Digicel

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digicel-photo-1.jpgThe Antigua and Barbuda government says it remains committed to buying out the operations of the Irish-owned telecommunication company, Digicel, as the authorities announce new initiatives in its ongoing battle to have the company and competitor Flow, formerly the British telecommunication giant Cable and Wireless, share the spectrum space with a state-entity.

Last month, Digicel, defended its decision to secure a High Court order preventing the government from sharing any of the 850 MHz spectrum it has been allocated with the state-owned Antigua Public Utilities Authority (APUA).

But speaking on his privately-owned radio station over the last weekend, Prime Minister Gaston Browne said he believes that Digicel "is showing an inclination to have possibly a 49-51 percentage situation.

"That's the sticking point because we want the majority," he said, adding that if the Digicel officials are prepared to "look at the possibility APUA...acquiring Digicel Antigua then we may have a deal".

Earlier, Senior Counsel Anthony Astaphan told radio listeners that the government is moving to amend the Telecommunications Bill so as to provide further protection for APUA.

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