Thursday, July 21, 2016

Globe Scores PCC for Inconsistency of Applying Rules

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Globe Telecom decries the decision of the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) to treat the P70B deal it entered with PLDT and San Miguel differently from the others when the said transaction was clearly within the safe harbor period of the PCC.

Under the then transitory rules of the PCC, this transaction which happened on May 30 needed only a notice to the PCC and should be “deemed approved” and not subject to review. Stating that this transaction should still be subject to review despite its own rules, the PCC has changed the rules suddenly in the middle of a game and acted on it whimsically, Globe Telecom said.

Froilan Castelo, Globe General Counsel, expressed the company’s frustration on how PCC is handling the SMC transaction. “We are not against PCC to do its mandate but what we are opposing is the inconsistent policy in implementing its rules and regulations,” Castelo said. Globe has invited the PCC to investigate the conduct and behavior of the companies in the transaction as part of the PCC’s plenary powers, but the fact remains that the transaction should be “deemed approved”.

Castelo said that this does not make good regulatory sense as rules and regulations should be clear and consistent, whereby business can make good business decisions based on such.

Castelo further noted that the PCC also invited the public to comment on this case, considering that this is one involving the adjudication of rights of parties. “This is highly irregular as government agencies like the PCC can only validly conduct public consultations in the exercise of their rule­making powers. Certainly, the transaction we have is adjudicatory in nature involving the rights of private parties, and the PCC is in no way performing as if to issue new guidelines and implementing rules for the benefit of the public”.

Globe has strictly followed the provisions of Sections 4 and 5 of the PCC Memorandum Circular No. 16­002 before the deal was closed last May. Under the MC, the deal is deemed approved if they are “consummated after the effectivity of the memorandum circular but before the effectivity of the implementing rules and regulations.” The PCC however chose to disregard this and took the position it is not bound by its own rules.

Globe vowed to continue improving the state of the internet in the country by rolling out using the co-­used spectrum. It is activating the 700 MHz frequency spectrum in 500 based stations nationwide and using its additional allocation in the 2600 MHz band to provide additional layer for its Long Term Evolution (LTE network) for faster data connectivity.   

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