An appeals court in the Philippines ordered the competitive watchdog to explain why PLDT and Globe Telecom should not be granted temporary restraining orders to halt a review of the operators’ joint acquisition of San Miguel Corp’s telecoms assets.
The court gave the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC)
10 days to comment on the operators’ petitions, filed in early July, to halt the review of the PHP69 billion ($1.47 billion) acquisition, BusinessWorld reported.
PLDT and Globe will have five days to respond after PCC releases its comments.
PCC has called for a public consultation on the deal, which includes the 700MHz spectrum band, which is well suited for boosting coverage. The deadline for public comment is 6 August.
The two dominant operators, with a 99 per cent market share of mobile connections, have turned up pressure on the regulator over the past month. Globe called the request for a public consultation “mob rule”.
Last week Globe complained the watchdog is treating the proposed acquisition differently from other deals and accused the PCC of “changing the rules suddenly in the middle of a game and acting on it whimsically”.
Both have said they followed PCC rules and so the acquisition should be “deemed approved”, but the regulator has reserved the right to review the deal under the country’s fair competition law.
It is worth noting that shortly after the deal was struck, PCC released new regulations for the competition act, which were put into effect in early June.