PLDT-Digitel merger delayed again

Dylan Bushell-Embling
02 Aug 2011

The 74.1 billion peso ($1.76 billion) takeover of the Philippines' Digitel by rival PLDT has been delayed yet again, with regulators yet to sign off on the deal.

PLDT has revealed it now expects to complete the purchase of a controlling 51.55% stake in Digitel by August 26, BusinessWorld Onlinereported.

When the deal was first announced in March, PLDT had expected to close the transaction at the end of June. But deadline this was later pushed back until July 30.

The deal is being vehemently opposed by PLDT archrival Globe Telecom, which has complained to to regulator NTC that it would give PLDT an unfair 70% share of the market. Consumer groups have also criticized the merger.

PLDT yesterday accused Globe of “resorting to flagrant distortions” in last-minute efforts to block the deal, stating that Globe's claim that PLDT is not a Philippine national utility is false.

Globe's claim is based on a supreme court ruling into how foreign ownership is determined that is not finalized, PLDT said.

After gathering opinions, the NTC began its evaluation process last Thursday, and is expected to give an opinion this month.

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