QCOSTARICA – The Costa Rican state owned power and telecom operator, the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE), has won a protracted dispute against US operator Verizon over a breach of contract referring to telephone directories published from 2005 to 2008.
ICE accused Verizon of publishing the directories on a geographical basis and not paying sufficient advertising royalties, claiming some ¢9.7 billion colones in damages in a complaint lodged back in 2010.
In a December 7 court decision, the US operator has now been ordered to pay all court costs as well as damages for unpaid advertising royalties to be calculated in subsequent contentious-administrative proceedings.
In 2000, the GTE CONSORTIUM which later changed its name to Verizon – won a public tender for “the development, marketing, production, distribution and implementation of the ICE telephone directories, along with complementary products and services “.
In the first four years of the contract there was no conflict. But in 2005, the Verizon unilaterally decided to publish the phone book piecemeal.
Repeatedly ICE objected, still, Verizon printed white and yellow-pages-books and distributed them to consumers, generating numerous complaints.