Lebanese government chided for breaking cell phone contracts
A leading international mobile telephone company recently criticized and described as “unfriendly” the Lebanese government’s decision to break contracts with two cellular telephone companies.
The unnamed company referred to the breach in contract by Lebanon with the Libancell and Cellis firms as a violation of its 10-year agreement signed with the two in 1994.
France Telecom, which owns 69 percent of Cellis, stated that there had been no agreement or negotiations prior to the move by Lebanese authorities.
Under the contract, both Cellis and Libnancell were to pay a license fee, which amounted to over $300 million last year, to the Lebanese government, as well as giving it approximately 25 percent of their profits.
However, disagreements erupted three years ago between the companies and Lebanese authorities regarding limits on the number of subscribers allowed and fees demanded by the government.
Furthermore, the companies’ offer to purchase the licenses directly for $1.35 billion each was turned down causing greater tension between the parties, which eventually led to the government’s recent decision.
A total of 700,000 people were subscribers of the two companies. ― (MENA Report)
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)
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