MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) claimed yesterday its rules have been wrongly interpreted by PLDT and Globe, causing both telcos to refuse compliance.
“Globe and PLDT erroneously interpreted the rules as vesting in them the sole prerogative to determine sufficiency of their submission and automatic approval of their own transaction,” said the PCC, refuting the telcos’ claims the deal “should be deemed approved” and “not subjected to review.”
The PCC said it adopted a uniform procedure in determining sufficiency of requirements under its memorandum circular under which it received a total of 61 notifications.
Of these 61 notifications, the PCC said about a quarter were determined to be insufficient and not deemed approved.
“Only Globe and PLDT refused to comply. The PCC requested for additional information on the key terms of the transaction, which they refused to provide, thereby preventing the PCC from granting it a deemed-approved status,” the country’s anti-trust body said.
Both PLDT and Globe have filed a lawsuit against the PCC to block the review
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of their joint purchase of the telecommunications business of San Miguel Corp. (SMC).
The transaction is worth P70 billion and covered the purchase of the entire equity interest in SMC’s Vega Telecom Inc., New Century Telecoms Inc. and eTelco Inc., with PLDT and Globe acquiring 50 percent each.
Last week, the PCC opened its lines for public comments to aid in its comprehensive review of the deal.
PCC said there is nothing irregular in such move as seeking public comments are being practiced globally.
“In light of the parties’ refusal to cooperate with the PCC in this comprehensive review, it became imperative to solicit comments from the public. This is also consistent with global best practice. If there is nothing irregular in this transaction, the parties should welcome inputs from various stakeholders,” it said.
Public comments may be submitted via email or through the PCC office on or before Aug. 6.
Meanwhile, PLDT maintained yesterday its position it, together with Globe Telecom and San Miguel Corp., fully and diligently complied with the notice requirements of the PCC’s transitory circulars.
“The notices were filed on time and contained the essential terms of the transaction. The transaction has been deemed approved by operation of the provisions of the Commission’s transitory circulars. The Commission has no power or authority to interpret its rules as it deems fit. The terms of the Commission’s transitory circulars were clear and left no room for interpretation. It behooves the Commission to follow its own rules,” it said in a statement.
Source: Philstar Online | 22 July 2016