The Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) took a defiant stand in opposition to business giants PLDT Inc. and Globe Telecom, elevating to the Supreme Court a long-running authorized row over their May 2016 joint acquisition of San Miguel Corp.’s telco property.

The PCCs’ determination was anticipated after the 12th division of the Court of Appeals, appearing on a request from PLDT, blocked the antirust body’s makes an attempt to pursue a complete evaluate of the P70-billion transaction.

The deal allowed PLDT and Globe to nook about 80 p.c of all out there telco frequencies, an atmosphere which PCC believed would hinder the entry of latest competitors within the Philippines’ two-player telco sector.

The PCC earlier filed an enchantment however this was denied by the appellate courtroom on Feb. 17, 2017.

“The PCC, as the country’s primary competition authority, will not back down or be intimidated by companies who have grown accustomed to unregulated business practices that hamper competition and ultimately hurt the consumers,” PCC Chair Arsenio Balisacan stated in a press briefing yesterday.

He stated the PCC, by way of the Office of the Solicitor General, filed a petition on the Supreme Court on April 18 in a bid to carry an appellate courtroom order stopping the PCC from reviewing the sale of SMC’s Vega Telecom to PLDT and Globe.

Apart from permitting its evaluate of the deal, the PCC desires a halt to the additional consummation of the transaction. This contains the ultimate fee of P13 billion to SMC by the tip of subsequent month and the additional rollout of telco frequencies, together with these within the 700 megahertz band now being pursued by PLDT and Globe.

Both telcos had argued the rollout was important to bettering cell web providers throughout the nation, a fancy subject, which they famous was additionally hampered by the shortage of cell websites given regulatory bottlenecks.

The 700 MHz, beforehand virtually absolutely managed by SMC, is an LTE frequency valued for its potential to effectively cowl vast areas and penetrate partitions with high-speed cell web.

“From day one, PLDT and Globe have resisted scrutiny of the telco deal,” Balisacan stated. “We must not lose sight of our main goal in pursuing the review of the acquisition. That is, to ensure the preservation of a level playing field for incumbent and prospective players in the telco industry.”

PLDT and Globe declined to reply for remark, saying they’ve but to obtain a duplicate of the submitting made to the SC. The submitting is the most recent improvement in a authorized battle whose important subject has but to be resolved. This concerned whether or not approval by the PCC, a comparatively new body, was required for PLDT and Globe to proceed with the acquisition.

PLDT and Globe are holding quick to the idea that the deal ought to have been “deemed approved,” citing the PCC’s personal memorandum circulars that had been in impact when the deal was launched.

The PCC countered that the required paperwork submitted by the telcos, particularly the transaction discover, had been poor and lacked essential materials data.

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Source: inquirer