Sunday, July 17, 2016
Globe Telecom Not Blocking PCC to Do Job
Globe Telecom took exception to the statement of the Internet Society-Philippines ISOC that the telcos particularly Globe Telecom are blocking the Philippine Competition Commission to perform its mandate of promoting fair market competition when it filed the Petition for Certiorari with the Court of Appeals, asking the latter to restrain the PCC from further reviewing the sale and purchase of assets of Vega Telecom from San Miguel.
The multi-billion joint buy-out deal gave Globe access to half of San Miguel’s telecommunication assets.
Globe General Counsel Atty. Froilan Castelo stressed the company supports the PCC’s mandate of ensuring fair and healthy market competition and promoting economic efficiency. “We are not in any way blocking the PCC from performing its mandate. In fact, we repeatedly invited the PCC to exercise its plenary powers under Section 12 of the Competition Act to investigate the conduct and behavior of the companies on this transaction for possible violations of the Act. Globe has consistently relayed to the PCC its willingness to submit to this investigation, and Globe is confident that all its actions pertaining to this transaction are all legal and above-board as certified by its legal counsels,” he said.
“With respect to the transaction itself however, Memorandum Circular 2016-02 of the PCC is very clear - the transaction is no longer reviewable as the same was ‘deemed approved’ under its provisions,” he said. The same memorandum circular states that it shall enjoy the benefit of Section 23 of the Philippine Competition Act, and therefore cannot be challenged under that law. The parties should abide by this provision, including the PCC, which is expected to uphold its own rules and the Philippine Competition Act. Globe has followed to the letter the rules of the PCC, and the same should be appreciated by the PCC, he added.
Castelo advises the ISOC to read and understand the law first before making such statement.
He said Globe will continue to roll out using the spectrum assets it gained access to following to deal with SMC as this is necessary to improve the internet situation in the country. Earlier, the Duterte administration called for a faster, reliable and cheaper internet service to be done in one year. With this, the company is currently in the process of activating the 700 MHz frequency spectrum in about 500 based stations in various parts of the country, expected for completion within by the end of the year. Globe is also making use of its additional allocation in the 2600 MHz band to provide additional layer for its LTE network for faster data connectivity.
Globe further emphasized that this sale will not restrict competition in the market, as both PLDT and Globe have surrendered a substantial block of frequency of San Miguel to the NTC. With these surrendered frequency plus those in reserve with the NTC, a substantial block will still be available for a potential third player. Moreover, the current stiff competition between major players Globe and PLDT is enough evidence that this will not result to an anti-competitive scenario. “In fact, this will benefit more the consumers, as this new frequencies will unlock a lot of service potentials which would lead to an efficient and better service”, Castelo ends.