MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) has elevated to the Supreme Court its attempt to probe and halt the completion of the buyout of the telecommunication assets of San Miguel Corp. (SMC) by PLDT and Globe Telecom.
In a briefing yesterday, PCC chair Arsenio Balisacan said the country’s antitrust authority, through the Office of the Solicitor General, had filed Tuesday a petition before the Supreme Court to lift the injunction which halted PCC’s review of the P69.1-billion telco deal.
PLDT last year sought an injunction against the PCC, which the 12th Division of the Court of Appeals (CA) granted.
The CA 6th Division, meanwhile, denied Globe’s application for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction against PCC’s review of its transaction with PLDT and SMC.
“By this petition, we elevate the matter to the highest court of the land to finally allow us to fulfill our legal mandate in the interest of promoting competition in the telco market,” Balisacan said.
PCC said it asked the SC to dissolve the writ of preliminary injunction issued by the CA 12th Division and stop PLDT from further proceeding with the final payment or performing any action for the consummation or implementation of the terms of the acquisition while the case is ongoing. The SC was also asked to allow PCC to finally fulfill its legal mandate to continue its review of the telco deal.
PCC commissioner Johannes Bernabe said should the SC allow the agency to pursue its review of the telco deal, the PCC can impose certain conditions and remedies on the transaction.
“It could very well be that this will result in a situation where some of the remedies might ask for certain decision or actions which in effect result in an undoing in some of these operation or activities of these telcos,” Bernabe said, referring to PLDT and Globe’s previous rollout of SMC’s frequencies.
PLDT and Smart head of public affairs Ramon Isberto said the group is deferring comment until it gets a copy of the PCC petition.