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TSTT WINS ANOTHER MAJOR LEGAL VICTORY AGAINST DIGICEL IN LONDON COURTS

Port of Spain, Trinidad - The English Court of Appeal, comprising Lord Justices, Kay, Lloyd and Gross yesterday (May 18th 2011,) dismissed Digicel's application for permission to appeal against an April 2010 decision of Justice Morgan. Digicel has also been directed by the appeal court to pay TSTT's legal costs which are to be assessed at a standard basis.

In the April 2010 ruling, after a 77 day trial, Justice Morgan, delivered a landmark decision dismissing all claims brought by Digicel in a lawsuit against TSTT. Digicel initially sought at least US$50million in damages alone from TSTT for allegedly delaying Digicel’s interconnection in Trinidad and Tobago. The April 2010 ruling was based on proceedings filed by Digicel in 2007 against TSTT and several Cable and Wireless companies on matters arising from the liberalization of the telecommunications markets in the Caribbean.

The claim against TSTT was based upon breaches of the Protection Against Unfair Competition Act 1966 (PAUC) and to what extent, if any, this caused a delay in Digicel being able to launch its services in the T&T market. After reviewing the evidence of many witnesses and thousands of pages of documents, Justice Morgan determined that Digicel had not suffered any loss or damage as a result of any action taken by TSTT. Justice Morgan also noted that there was no real or substantial chance that the interconnection dispute between Digicel and TSTT would have been resolved before 31 March 2006. Justice Morgan was of this opinion because of the time required by Digicel, TSTT and TATT to follow agreed procedures for convening a properly functioning Arbitration Tribunal to address the interconnection rates dispute.

Following Justice Morgan’s ruling, Digicel in May 2010 sought permission to appeal against the court’s decision. That application was yesterday (May 18th 2011) refused by the Court of Appeal. "This effectively brings an end to these legal proceedings in London, and to the largest claim ever made against TSTT in the history of its operations", according to Lisa Agard, TSTT's Vice President Legal and Executive Vice President Mobile. Agard added that TSTT was extremely pleased with this decision as it no longer would be required to expend millions of dollars in legal fees and management time on this meritless claim. “The real battle is in the market place, delivering value to customers as opposed to in a court of law” she added.