Lawmaker warns property developers vs exclusive ISP deals
MANILA, Philippines — Makati City Rep. Luis Campos Jr. warned condominium and subdivision developers on Sunday against making exclusive deals with a single internet service provider (ISP), saying they risk getting slapped with administrative fines of up to P100 million.
Campos urged residents or tenants adversely affected by their property developer’s exclusive contract with a single ISP to file complaints with the Enforcement Office of the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC).
“The law is very clear. These exclusionary arrangements with an in-house ISP are prohibited. They are unlawful barriers to the entry of competitors, or other ISPs,” Campos said in a statement.
He added that the exclusive deals also “constitute unfair business practices that deprive consumers of the freedom to choose their preferred ISP.”
“In fact, one could make the argument that in forcing the residents or tenants to subscribe to a lone predetermined ISP, there is price-fixing, because the consumer is in effect being barred from obtaining a similar service at another price,” he said.
Fine of up to P100 million
Campos pointed out that under the Philippine Competition Law, entities that take advantage of their dominant position to obstruct competition could be punished with a fine of up to P100 million.
In 2019, the PCC slapped a P27.11-million fine against mass housing developer 8990 Holdings Inc. and its subsidiary Urban Deca Homes Manila Condominium Corp. for imposing a single ISP on its tenants.
“We must remind all entities, including property developers, that they are forbidden from engaging in any conduct that would prevent, restrict or lessen competition,” Campos said.
The lawmaker has been pushing for the passage of House Bill No. 7479, which seeks to classify the internet as “a basic telecommunications service to which every Filipino enjoys a right of access.”
Under the proposed measure, the National Telecommunications Commission would be empowered to require ISPs to deliver rising average connection speeds within prescribed deadlines.