Red Compartida deal heads for courts
Both sides threaten court action over Mexican wholesale wireless project, Red Compartida
A dispute between the Mexican government and Rivada Networks, which was excluded from the country’s wholesale wireless project, is heading for the courts.
Mexico is threatening to sue Rivada Networks and its Irish CEO, Declan Ganley, alleging they have libelled the country’s Secretary of Communications and Transport (SCT) over how a 20-year contract for the Red Compartida was awarded.
Rivada is also threatening to take the decision to US and Mexican courts.
The Altán Consortium – backed by Morgan Stanley Investment Bank and the World Bank – won the contest in November 2016 for what is said to be the world’s largest open access wholesale network yet created.
But Rivada has been quoted as saying the Altán proposal was “essentially a photocopy” of an earlier business plan prepared for the SCT. The Mexican government denies this and is reported to be threatening to sue.
Ganley retorted: “If anyone knows of any private individual sued for ‘defamation’ by a developed country government, I’d love to know.”
Rivada said in a statement it was “convinced of the importance of the Red Compartida to the economic development of Mexico”.
The company added, in a statement in Spanish on its website: “Rivada’s actions aim to demonstrate that the protocols established for bidding on the Red Compartida were not met.”
However, Rivada might still lose on a technicality. All bidders were required to include a bond worth one billion pesos ($55 million) with their bids. Rivada provided guarantees but according to reports the actual bond was under separate cover. This is what Rivada Networks is threatening to take to the US and Mexican courts.