ECS 11/2016 URCA Issues Adjudication on the Change in Control of BTC Ltd. and Columbus Communications Ltd.

On April 4, 2016, the Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority (URCA) issued its Adjudication (ECS 11/2016) pursuant to section 75 of the Communications Act, 2009 (“Comms Act”) in relation to the request submitted by Liberty Global plc (Liberty Global) and Cable and Wireless Communications plc (CWC), for URCA’s approval of the change in control of two of its licensees, the Bahamas Telecommunications Ltd. (BTC) and Columbus Communications Ltd. (CCL).

The transaction will result in the acquisition of all of the issued and to be issued shares of CWC, which will result in a change in of ownership of CWC Bahamas Holdings Limited, the holder of 49% of the outstanding and issued shares of the BTC. Liberty Global will also become the voting controller of all of the shares of CCL, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Columbus Communications Inc. (CCI).

Pursuant to section 72 of the Comms Act, in considering whether to approve a proposed change in control of a licensee, URCA must determine whether the transaction would have or is likely to have the effect of substantially lessening competition in a market in The Bahamas, and in the case of a change in control involving a media public interest, whether the change of control would have an effect, or would be likely to have an effect contrary to the public interest.

Based on URCA’s deliberations and findings, URCA has concluded that the change in control of BTC and CCL would not have, or is likely to have either of the adverse effects set out in section 72 of the Comms Act, and URCA therefore granted its consent to the change in control in accordance with section 75(1)(a) of the Comms Act.

The full text of URCA’s findings and its reasoning are set out in the Adjudication. URCA has acquiesced to the parties request to redact commercially confidential information, and the redacted version of the Adjudication is available on URCA’s website at