Globe Telecom, PLDT urge PCC: Let's talk
MANILA, Philippines – PLDT Incorporated and Globe Telecom Incorporated are seeking a dialogue with the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) to resolve uncertainties concerning the $1.5-billion deal to buy San Miguel Corporation's (SMC) telecommunication assets.
The two telecommunications giants said in a joint statement that they have asked PCC for a meeting so they can respond to any issues the government body may have regarding the buy-out deal.
"Consistent with our earlier declaration, we express our willingness to cooperate with the Honorable Commission to settle the issues surrounding the transaction having in mind the tremendous benefit that the public will gain from the immediate unlocking of the advantages of the underutilized frequencies underpinning the transaction," PLDT and Globe said in a letter.
A report, however, quoted PCC Chairman Arsenio Balisacan, saying there is no need for an open dialogue at this point. (READ: The other side of San Miguel's telco buyout)
Rappler sought Balisacan's confirmation but he could not be reached as of press time.
"This is creating an atmosphere of uncertainty hanging over the industry, which in turn, cause investors to take a cautious position," Globe General Counsel Froilan Castelo said. (READ: San Miguel's sale of telco business: Will consumers benefit?)
"We are willing to cooperate and work with the PCC for the approval of the transaction," he added.
Last week, Ray Espinosa, head of legal and regulatory affairs at PLDT, said that PLDT had written the PCC, "requesting for a formal audience."
"This is to show them how the transaction does not produce any substantial anti-competitive factors. In fact, it is beneficial to the consumers," Espinosa told reporters on the sidelines of a briefing in Makati City on June 16.
Investors initially cheered the buyout, pushing Globe and PLDT share prices at the end of trading day on May 30, when the deal was announced.
But following PCC's announcement it would review the deal, Globe share prices dipped to P2,360 apiece. PLDT share prices have slid to P2,016 each at the end of trading day of June 13.
Both telcos have repeatedly stressed that the transaction was above board and did not violate any provisions of the country's anti-competition law.
After PLDT and Globe refiled their notices, PCC said it will conduct a comprehensive review of the acquisition of SMC's telco businesses, which will be the basis for approval or disapproval of the deal.
"The review is intended to ensure that the transaction will, in the end, result in sustained gains for the public by not restricting competition," the PCC said in a statement.
Castelo said that in acquiring San Miguel's telco assets, there was no market share gain or loss for any of the parties involved because majority of the companies that belonged to SMC were not operating.
He added that Globe is already incurring additional expenses to retrofit cell towers to utilize the 700 MHz, which would utilmately benefit the public.
"It would be a shame to dismantle all these given the extensive resources being spent," Castelo said. – Rappler.com