Friday, March 1, 2024

Gloves are off as Globe hits PCC?s ?extra judicial stance and mob rule?

In fighting form, Globe Telecom has denounced the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) for supposedly blocking its joint purchase of SMC?s telco assets and feeding wrong information to the media regarding a recent order of the Court of Appeals (CA).

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In a strongly worded statement, Globe reiterated that it cooperated with all regulatory bodies, including the Securities and Exchange Commission, National Telecommunications Commission, and the PCC, in providing all documentary requirements and disclosures ?to ensure regulators that the transaction is above board.?

But the telco noted that the PCC has decided to block the deal by declaring it is ?not deemed approved?. The anti-trust regulator has also accused Globe of ?refusal to cooperate?, stating that its application is deficient.

However, Globe general counsel Froilan Castelo stated the PCC was ?not forthright? in saying what is deficient in the notice.

?The PCC acted in bad faith and dragged their response, saying all sorts of excuses, even going against their own rules to justify a review of the transaction that is not within their transitory provision.?

?For the PCC to subject the telcos to mob rule is appalling. By asking for public comment on a so-called ?review of the transaction? is highly irregular and against the rights of the private parties involved,? added Castelo.

Globe also pointed out that contrary to the press release of the PCC, it is merely the application for TRO (temporary restraining order) that was not granted in the case Globe filed against the PCC in the CA.

According to Globe, the case is ?still set for deliberation, and technically, the Court of Appeals can still issue a writ of preliminary injunction, and eventually decide the case on the merits in favor of Globe.?

?We are still in the initial stage of the legal proceedings,? Castelo added.

In a press statement issued last July 22, the PCC said the “undue haste exhibited by the parties to run to the courts to stop PCC’s review is now confirmed as unjustified. The court’s decision further serves to strengthen the PCC’s resolve to closely scrutinize this transaction and examine any possible adverse effects on public welfare.”

The Ayala-owned operator also said there is stopping the company from using the various frequencies it acquired from SMC. To date, Globe said it has ?fired up 20 sites using the 700 MHz frequency, which were never used and stockpiled by SMC.?

On top of the 700 MHz, Globe said it has also fired up 669 sites using the 2600 MHz through carrier aggregation in various parts of Metro Manila, Visayas and Mindanao.

To use these frequencies using its current network, Globe said it is investing bulk of its $700 million in capital expenditure this year to retrofit cell sites, purchase new antenna systems specifically for 700 MHz, and install upgrades in new software.

?By immediately using the additional capacities from these frequencies, coupled with additional network investments, our customers in various parts of the country are starting to feel the improvements in their mobile internet experience. The additional capacity can only be generated by using a new set of frequencies, sadly it is the PCC that is exerting all efforts for us to prevent using these idle frequencies,? Castelo stated.


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