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Netizens biggest losers in buyout of SMC’s broadband because PLDT, Globe just got bigger, badder -Tinio, Bello

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ACT Teachers Antonio Tinio thinks consumers will be the biggest losers in San Miguel Corp.’s sale of 700- megahertz to PLDT-Smart and Globe Telecom.

Tinio said that if the country was already suffering from Asia’s slowest and most expensive internet service, don’t expect PLDT-Smart and Globe to improve things now that they have finally shut the door to the entry of a third party in their captive market.

In a report by the Inquirer, Tinio said: “It’s telling that a massive conglomerate like SMC was forced to raise the white flag in its attempt to enter the telco sector. The sale of broadband frequency to PLDT and Globe will further entrench their stranglehold on the market.”

Sans a strong rival with more broadband space to offfer consumers, Tinio said there was practically no incentive for PLDT-Smart and Globe to shape up and make their consumers happy and less the profits going to their pockets.

Former Akbayan Rep. Walden Bello said PLDT-Smart and Globe have made consumers suffer not because they lacked the technology but because they had nobody to compete against as they were happy to divide the market between themselves.

Bello said: “It’s not a technological problem. It’s a market control problem. SMC was not a serious player. But with its broadband frequency now with PLDT and Globe, it will strengthen oligopoly and make it more difficult for smaller local players to emerge.”

Needless to say, Tinio and Bello do not think government regulators would be a factor in the market as these watchdogs have acted more like protectors of PLDT-Smart and Globe than guardians of consumers.