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Competition commission claims Filipino duopoly not anti-competitive

1 Jun 2016

The Manila Bulletin quotes the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) as reasserting its claim that, under current telecoms legislation, the recent move by PLDT and Globe Telecom to buy out the PHP69.1 billion (USD1.48 billion) telecoms assets of San Miguel Corp (SMC) does not constitute an ‘abuse of dominant market position’. With calls growing for a greater examination of competition in the Filipino mobile market – only last week president-elect Rodrigo Duterte described the mobile market as a ‘cartel’ and called for an urgent improvement in its performance – PCC chairman Arsenio Balisacan told reporters that the Law does not prohibit either a monopoly or duopoly developing, adding: ‘Let me clarify, the Competition Law does not prohibit bigness, monopoly or duopoly but prohibits abuse of dominant position.’ Balisacan confirmed that Section 20 of the Competition Law on Mergers and Acquisitions states that ’merger and acquisition agreements that substantially prevent, restrict or lessen competition in the relevant market or in the market for goods or services [as] determined by the Commission shall be prohibited’. That being said, he conceded that the details of the SMC asset sale had still to be fully ratified as the PCC is waiting for the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to forward the relevant documents for review before it is signed off.

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