PCC wants public to speak up on telco deal

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The Philippine Competition Commission (PCC), which is reviewing the acquisition of San Miguel Corp’s telecom business by the PLDT Inc. and Globe Telecom Inc, is now asking the general public to speak up on it.

An invitation posted on PCC website phcc.gov.ph calls on members of the public to say, “whether the merger will (1) substantially prevent, restrict, or lessen competition in the relevant market, or (2) adversely impact consumer welfare.”

The PCC had earlier informed the two telecom operators that the acquisition is “not deemed approved” until it has determined that the parties have complied with the rules of the Philippine Competition Act. Both PLDT and Globe think, at the same time, that they the transaction was “deemed approved.”

Mandated to evaluate mergers and acquisitions worth P1 billion and above for anti-trust practices and abuse of market dominance, PCC is currently in separate talks with PLDT and Globe after warning them that they could face penalties if found in violation of Competition Act. Through this comprehensive review, PCC aims to avoid the duopoly in the country’s telecommunications sector


The commission said the collection of public comments “is part of the process of the PCC’s ongoing comprehensive review of the subject.”

The quasi-judicial body said comments might be submitted on or before August 6.

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4 Comments

  1. I cannot understand all this opposition. I keep hearing how the duopoly is blocking competition, but I have yet to hear how they are doing this. All I know is that they are so far ahead of any possible newcomer for the latter to catch up. Sure, we would all like more competition in the telco market. But Telstra already said it was not practical for them to enter at this late stage, plus the messy prospect of their having to face all the government regulatory requirements that hinder application for new telco facilities. Clearly, San Miguel was not up to it either. I don’t know if it is within the purview of the PCC but if they want to encourage competition, they or the pertinent agency should remove all those obstacles like excessive fees and overly-long processing times. If they stop Globe and Smart, then what? Return the bandwidth and wait ages for another telco who will take one look at us, shake their heads like Telstra, then move on? Let the telcos put their money where their mouth is, because now the burden of proof is on them.

  2. Why only now does this body deciding on this merger, Did the PLDT Digitel acquisition ever passed to them for approval? That’s the biggest mistake govt made moving towards a duopoly of PLDT and GLOBE. Sun already had the facilities, the network, and the backbone. They had a more modern network compared to Smart at the time of the acquisition. What then happened to the existing infrastructure of Sun after the merger with Smart. Its safe to assume that most of it had been turned off, dismantled, what a waste of resources, building something over the years just to be destroyed by the greed of the seller and the buyer. I would say to the Philippine competition body, do not allow the buy out, SMC can sell but not to these Greedy Competitors, allow the sale only to a competent third player. Its a waste of years of putting up infrastructure, negotiating for site acquisition (one of the hardest part of putting up a cell site for example is site acquisition), building your own backbone (fiber and digital radio), the money invested is outweighed by the effort of those who built the network only to be shutdown because these guys are after only the frequency and the bandwidth, they don’t need the infrastructure. And what happens after they exhaust the use of the 700 MHZ bandwidth, this is after all not a renewable resource, mauubos din ito.

  3. This deal will do nothing to improve internet speeds, reduce costs or improve services.

    While the parties argue about the legitimacy of the deal, PLDT and Globe are dismantling the only high-speed mobile internet network in the Philippines (the one SMC already built!) and terminating the employees and contractors.

    The Deterte government, presumably via the PCC, must place a Temporary Restraining Order on PLDT and Globe to stop the destruction and waste, and stop the Duopoly removing any chance we have of a competitor, good internet and reasonable prices.

    Who will save us from this disastrous outcome if the Deterte administration doesn’t??

    San Miguel clearly doesn’t want to be in the telecom business, so the government needs to attract and incentivise a competent foreign operator to team-up with a local entity to being real choice and competition for us all.

    We all need to be angry and show the government that the ways of the past, and the way this hopeless Duopoly is operating, is completely unacceptable.

    Forget any of the details of this shady deal… Any person with half a brain could see that a deal designed to maintain a cosy duopoly is anti-competitive and not in the public’s best interests.

  4. I hope that the PCC Website receives constructive and well thought out feedback instead of merely rants and character assassination. In the past few months I have read quite a number of comments from consumers on the issue of whether this merger will improve internet service, and I would guess that the the vast majority of the numerous negative comments may be classified into two categories: a) displeasure caused by past experiences with the telcos, and b) general distrust of big business and the ‘oligarchs’, sometimes even insulting the CEOs of the respective telcos like schoolchildren. We get a lot of complaints that say the merger was wrong, but these do not go into any explanation why, aside from the two categories listed above. In effect, the majority of negative comments are based on pre-conceived notions and prejudice. For the PCC to get an accurate picture of whether the public thinks the merger will benefit consumers, they will need relevant and expert feedback. For the PCCs part, they should remember to separate the grain from the chaff: Just because hundreds are ranting does not necessarily mean the merger will not work. This is not a popularity contest.