Philippine competition watchdog to probe SMC deal

The Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) has announced it will conduct a “comprehensive review” of the 69 billion peso ($1.49 billion) acquisition of San Miguel Corporation's telecoms assets by PLDT and Globe Telecom.

The regulator has sent letters to the operators informing them that a thorough review will be undertaken, the Sun.Star reported.

Such a review includes an investigation into whether there will be substantial changes to the market structure and the potential impact of the transaction on public welfare.

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In a statement, the newly-formed PCC said it had decided to conduct the investigation “based on the totality of information available to us, including public statements made by the parties,” which led the authority to “believe there is a basis to conduct this review by virtue of the powers granted to the PCC by the Philippine Competition Act.”

The PCC recently decided not to accept PLDT and Globe's initial application for the merger, claiming it was “deficient and defective in form and substance.”

The operators had recently resubmitted parts of their application to address the regulator's concerns, while maintaining that their initial application was sufficient.

PLDT and Globe announced in late May that they have arranged to acquire SMC's telecoms assets, including its coveted 700-MHz spectrum holdings, in a deal worth a combined 69.1 billion pesos.

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