Thursday, July 18, 2024

PLDT, Globe run to CA to refute ?transaction not approved? stance of PCC

The country?s two mobile operators have sought the intervention of the Court of Appeals (CA) to dispute the assertion of the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) that their purchase of San Miguel?s Corp.?s telecom assets are ?not deemed approved.?

The Philippine Competition Commission officials, led by chair Arsenio Balisacan (middle)
The Philippine Competition Commission officials, led by chair Arsenio Balisacan (middle)

In filing the case against the new regulatory body, PLDT is insisting that the transaction is ?deemed approved and not subject to retroactive review by the PCC.?

Both PLDT and Globe Telecom have asserted that the PCC did not have an IRR (implementing rules and regulations) at the time of the purchase and that they have already filed the sufficient notice required under the provisionary rules of PCC to make the deal ?deemed approved?.

Globe, meanwhile, emphasized that when the acquisition was made in late May of this year, the parties have strictly followed the provisions of Sections 4 and 5 of the PCC Memorandum Circular No. 16-002.

Under the MC, Globe said the deal is deemed approved if they are ?consummated after the effectivity of the memorandum circular but before the effectivity of the implementing rules and regulations.?

?The PCC, however, chose to disregard this and took the position it is not bound by its own rules,? the Ayala-owned telco said.

?Under the own rules of the PCC, the transaction is already ?deemed approved?, and the PCC cannot by whim or caprice state that it wants a review without any legal basis. The PCC cannot withhold and block the transaction out of a process not found in their own rules, and not disclosed to the public.?

Globe insists there is nothing anti-competitive with the transaction to warrant its disapproval. ?In fact, the immediate use of the underutilized frequencies have spurred a series of competitive data offers that drastically brought down prices of mobile data for prepaid customers,? it said.

The PCC, which has received a copy of the petition, said it was ?disappointed? that the telcos decided to resort to a lawsuit against the agency to prevent a review of the deal.

?While the PCC is working on an expedited basis to complete the review as quickly as possible, PLDT in their recent action have now sought to delay resolution of an issue which is of great importance to public interest and welfare,? the government body said.

?We are confident that our courts will recognize the significance of protecting consumers and promoting competition in the market, and the authority of the PCC to independently exercise its mandate.?


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