MANILA, June 14 (Mabuhay) – The Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) can stop the joint acquisition of the San Miguel Corp (SMC) telecommunications assets by two industry giants if the deal, after a review, would encourage or result in a monopoly, Senate President Franklin Drilon said on Tuesday.
Drilon pointed out that under the Philippine Competition Act, the commission can review “whether a particular agreement or a particular practice would have monopolistic tendencies,” which he said would be prejudicial to public interest and to the expansion of the economy and business.
He cited as an example the recent agreement between the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) and Globe Telecom to buy out the SMC’s Vega Telecom Inc. and two other telco companies with reported links to SMC.
“This is now subject to the review of the Philippine Competition Commission to see whether there is a monopoly or duopoly which prevent the coming-in of other players that therefore, kill competition,” Drilon said.
Asked if there was a need to get the PCC’s nod before the deal was done, the Senate leader said: “No, but they have a right to review and they have the right to declare that these agreements stifle competition and therefore can stop it, theoretically.”
Asked again if there was a need for the PCC to go to the Supreme Court to stop the deal, Drilon said he could not recall if it was provided for in the law.
“But on their own, they can say that the agreement encourages or results in a monopoly and therefore this cannot be implemented – either portions, or the whole agreement,” he said.
PLDT and Globe earlier insisted that the Commission had no power to undo their joint acquisition last month. (MNS)