Cape Verde’s Supreme Court suspends liberalization of international communications

2 May 2006

Praia, Cape Verde, 02 May – Cape Verde’s Supreme Court (STJ) has suspended the liberalization of international phone calls due to a case brought by monopoly-holder CV Telecom against the government.

A decree-law from November 2005, the government unilaterally changed the concession contract for telecommunication services signed in 1996, which gave CV Telecom exclusivity in providing a public telecommunications service for a 25-year period, until 2021.

In the case put to the STJ, CV Telecom, which is 47-percent owned by Portugal Telecom, alleged it was unconstitutional to unilaterally change the contract.

In its findings from April 19, the STJ said that, “the public interest of competition and its beneficial effects, argued by the government, should not be imposed on the private interests of the plaintiff.”

For now, CV Telecom is applying a price revision condition to the sector’s liberalization as it considers that, despite the prices set for international fixed-line calls being considered expensive, those of local calls “are far below actual cost.” (macauhub)