P69-B telco deal jumps gun on court decisions

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THE Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) on Wednesday said telecommunication giant PLDT Inc. and Globe Telecom should not have proceeded with the payment of their final installment for San Miguel Corp.’s assets because the cases pending before the courts have yet to be resolved.

“Completing the payment for the telco assets is a move that unduly preempts the forthcoming rulings of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals. This big-ticket deal goes beyond the purchase itself because of its impact on public interest. As with any transaction required to be notified to PCC, the P69.1-billion deal needs to be reviewed through a market competition lens to safeguard consumer welfare over the long term,” the PCC said in a statement.

A petition was filed at the high court seeking the lifting of an injunction against a review of the P69.1-billion co-acquisition deal.

Earlier this month, Globe said the PCC was restrained from doing anything regarding the transaction.
The final payment for the co-acquisition was scheduled on May 30, a year after the deal was announced.
Both companies supposedly completed the payment on Tuesday.


“While PCC guarantees fair evaluation for every notification, compliance with the law should nevertheless be complete and transparent. Notifications should not be filed merely for the sake of submission. This telco deal review would have been completed earlier if only the parties submitted the required notification,” PCC said.

“The PCC may be fairly new and companies are still adjusting to the regulatory framework of the Philippine Competition Act, but they must strictly adhere to the law. Globe and PLDT should not be exempted,” it added.

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