Tata loses ruling over FLAG subsea cable

An international district court of The Hague this week upheld an earlier ruling that Tata Communications must give Reliance Globalcom's FLAG Telecom undersea cable group access to a Tata landing station in Mumbai, India. FLAG has been seeking the right to use a cable landing station for at least two years in order to further upgrade capacity on an undersea route to Europe, but Tata, known then as VSNL, said an existing agreement it had with FLAG did not cover access to the landing station. FLAG also has accused VSNL of engaging in other unfair competitive practices, such as charging inflated network access rates.

An International Chamber of Commerce arbitration panel ruled in favor of FLAG back in 2006, but VSNL appealed, and Tata now is evaluating whether or not to appeal the Hague ruling. Tata is also a player in the increasingly competitive international submarine cable business, and perhaps we can expect to get used to more of these types of disputes between the operators of those cables.

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