Globe Telecom’s plan to acquire Bayan Telecommunications has been delayed after a court halted the country’s regulator from reviewing the takeover, following a motion filed by rival PLDT.
The Philippine’s Court of Appeals has issued a 60-day temporary restraining order on the National Telecommunications Commission’s takeover proceedings.
PLDT, the country’s top telecoms player, has argued that the merger violates telecoms law as it would give Globe 95MHz of 4G spectrum. Globe currently has 45MHz and PLDT claims it has just 35MHz of 4G-suitable frequency.
Globe and BayanTel issued a statement yesterday saying they “regret” the court’s action, which “will further delay proceedings and impact Bayan’s 350,000 customers in terms of much needed service improvements”.
Globe’s general counsel, Froilan Castelo, insisted that the telecoms industry “should not be held hostage by a single dominant player”.
Globe moved to acquire BayanTel in late 2012 by taking on most of the company’s debt in 2012 and has been working to convert that into a 56.6 per cent interest. A year ago BayanTel issued common shares equivalent to 39 per cent of the company to Globe and its senior creditors.
PLDT’s mobile unit, Smart, has a 60 per cent market share while Globe, with 44.5 million connections, has a 39 per cent share, according to GSMA Intelligence.