PLDT, Globe resubmit SMC telco buyout report to PCC

Chrisee Dela Paz
PLDT, Globe resubmit SMC telco buyout report to PCC
But PLDT and Globe clarify they are not abandoning their stance that the deal is already 'deemed approved' and 'may no longer be challenged' by the PCC

MANILA, Philippines – PLDT Incorporated and Globe Telecom Incorporated on Thursday, June 16, submitted anew their report on the P69.1-billion deal to buy out the telecommunication assets of San Miguel Corporation (SMC).

The report was resubmitted to “comply” with the requirements of the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC).

But the legal counsels of PLDT and Globe clarified they are not abandoning their stance that the deal is already “deemed approved” and “may no longer be challenged” by the PCC.

“We have resubmited the documents again to the PCC yesterday just to comply with the supposed-to-be deficiency without abandoning our original position that we have filed a [sufficient] notice,” Globe general counsel Froilan Castelo said in a media briefing on Thursday.

Castelo said Globe is “no longer taking any chances,” which is why the telco filed on Wednesday, June 15, a “resubmission and return” of the notice.  (READ: The future of 700 MHz band remains unclear)

On the sidelines of a media briefing around 1:30 pm, Thursday, PLDT legal and regulatory group head Ray Espinosa also said that the telco will “return the initial notice we submitted last May 30 later this afternoon.”

Espinosa added that PLDT will “provide other documents” the PCC asked for in its reply to the company’s May 30 notice. (READ: San Miguel’s sale of telco business: Will consumers benefit?)

PCC Chairman Arsenio Balisacan told Rappler last Friday, June 10, that until the commission approves the telcos’ transaction report, PLDT and Globe cannot proceed with the terms of the deal.

Balisacan – who previously served as National Economic and Development Authority director general – said the initial transaction report of PLDT and Globe on the buyout of SMC’s telco assets had “incomplete information.”

The PCC head then clarified that the “deal is not deemed approved.”

But like Globe, PLDT insisted on Thursday that there was nothing wrong with its initial filing.

“We are not abandoning our position that we have already filed properly. We have properly filed a notice the first time around,” Espinosa told reporters.

Asked about the missing information the PCC was referring to, Espinosa said in Filipino: “I don’t even know.”

The SMC telco acquisition entails P52.08 billion for 100% equity interest in Vega Telecom, Incorporated and the assumption of around P17.02 billion of liabilities.

The deal would allow PLDT and Globe access to 700 megahertz (MHz) frequencies, which they said would help them provide subscribers with “better experience on mobile data and home broadband services.”

Under the deal, PLDT and Globe will be returning radio frequencies in 700 MHz, 850 MHz, 2500 MHz, and 3500 MHz bands to the government.

PLDT and Globe have also activated their first 700 MHz LTE cell sites. (READ: PLDT, Globe sign IP peering deal after 6 years)

PLDT chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan told Rappler that his telco’s and Globe’s transition team are already at the Vega Telecom headquarters in Pasig City to study the takeover. 

Asked what PLDT would do if the PCC insists that the deal is not deemed approved, Espinosa said jokingly: “Abangan! (Wait for it!)” – Rappler.com

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