CA rejects Globe plea to stop P69-B telco deal review

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Philippine Competition Commission
The Court of Appeals (CA) has rejected Globe Telecom Inc.’s request to stop the review of the P69-B deal to purchase SMC assets. (image: Philippine Competition Commission)

Last Friday, the Philippine Competition Commission reported that the Court of Appeals (CA) denied Globe Telecom Inc.’s request to stop the review of the P69-billion deal to purchase San Miguel Corp.’s telecommunication assets.

A statement released by the PCC on July 22 confirmed that the CA denied the telecom giant’s petition for a temporary restraining order (TRO) and preliminary injunction against PCC’s review of its deal with other giant telecom company, Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) and SMC.

The PCC stated that: “The undue haste exhibited by the parties to run to the courts to stop PCC’s review is now confirmed as unjustified.” The commission added that the decision serves to strengthen its resolve to critically examine the particular transaction and assess if such has any possible consequences on public welfare.

The rejection of the plea enhanced the PCC’s chance to thoroughly review the said deal, which is estimated to be completed within 90 working days. The decision on the same petition by the PLDT is yet to be released.

The commission further explained that the CA’s decision should “encourage Globe and other parties concerned to cooperate with the PCC” for fair competition.

Another statement on July 21 reiterated PCC’s stand, saying that the telcos “erroneously interpreted the rules as vesting in them the sole prerogative to determine sufficiency of their submission and automatic approval of their own transaction.”

PCC added that the concerned companies’ refusal to cooperate encouraged the agency to seek outside reviews of the deal, to achieve something which is “consistent with global best practice.”

“If there is nothing irregular in this transaction, the parties should welcome inputs from various stakeholders,” it added.

In a 50-50 purchase deal on May 30, both telecom companies, Globe and PLDT, publicly announced their agreement to buy SMC’s Telecommunications assets, which include the valued 700 megahertz spectrum.