Antitrust Body Will Formally Investigate Dito's Complaint Vs. Globe and Smart

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ILLUSTRATOR KARL BELTRAN

The Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) will launch a formal investigation into the complaint filed by Dito Telecommunity against major telco players Globe and Smart. 

In a statement issed on Friday (August 25), the PCC said it found reasonable grounds to open a preliminary inquiry into the abuse of dominance complaint filed by the Dennis Uy-controlled Dito Tel against the country’s dominant telcos.

The PCC said it would also study whether both Smart and Globe committed other violations of the Philippine Competition Act related to anti-competitive agreements. 

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The antitrust body added that it plans to coordinate and consult with the National telecommunications Commission and other relevant authorities for regulatory and technical considerations. 

Dito’s complaint, which it filed with the PCC last August 8, involves the alleged violation of Section 15b and 15c of the Philippine Competition Act (PCA). Both provisions pertain to the abuse of dominant positions by imposing barriers to entry or committing acts that prevent competitors from growing in the market and making a transaction subject to acceptance by the other parties even without connection with the transaction.

Meanwhile, Globe has issued a statement in response to the PCC’s decision to launch the investigation. The telco majority-owned by Ayala Corp said it welcomed the PCC decision, insisting the company, which is listed in the Philippine Stock Exchange, maintains a fair and healthy competitive environment necessary to promote consumer welfare.

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Globe also said it welcomes the opportunity to present to the PCC how Dito violated the terms and conditions of its interconnection agreement with Globe, prompting the filing of a previous case with the NTC.

“Likewise, we reiterate our view that this is a clear case of forum-shopping since a similar case for the same issues is pending with the NTC,” Globe said.

A day after Dito filed suit against Globe and Smart with the PCC, Globe filed its own complaint against Dito with the NTC. Globe asked the NTC to compel Dito to pay for interconnection penalties amounting to P622 million. Globe said the penalties sprung from fraudulent calls placed through Dito’s network to Globe, bypassing proper voice traffic channels. An average of 1,000 fraudulent calls, or those identified as international in origin but masked as local calls, are allegedly allowed to pass through Dito’s network to Globe users every day, which violates interconnection rules. 

Smart had yet to issue a statement regarding the PCC’s decision as of posting time.

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Paul John Caña
Associate Editor, Esquire Philippines
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