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Buying out competition to kill? Johnny Pimentel warns of anti-trust issues over PLDT-MVP’s plan to acquire Sky Cable from Lopezes

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Businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan’s PLDT will have to go through the scrutiny of anti-trust regulators should its plan to buy Sky Cable from the Lopezes push through, Deputy Speaker Johnny Pimentel said Tuesday (September 15).

Pimentel said “there will surely be serious concerns” about how the deal could potentially reduce market competition by boosting PLDT’s clout.

“The deal may easily be construed as buying out the competition in order to kill it,” he said in a statement.

Pimentel also expressed concern that PLDT will buy out Sky Cable only to shut it down.

“After all, PLDT is in a position to conveniently replace all the products, including the high speed internet services offered by Sky Cable,” he said.

Existing Sky Cable internet subscribers might find themselves suddenly becoming subscribers of PLDT fiber internet and CIGNAL cable overnight, Pimentel added.

Citing sources, the Philippine Star reported that the MVP Group plans to “make an aggressive offer” for Sky Cable, which is valued at around P15 billion to P18 billion.

Under the law, business mergers or acquisition agreements need to be approved by the Philippine Competition Commission, which may reject transactions that prevent, restrict or lessen market competition.

“Assuming the transaction pushes through, we would expect it to be thoroughly scrutinized by anti-trust regulators, who are there to ensure fair market competition for the benefit of consumers,” Pimentel said.

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