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Leyte solon pushes new antitrust law

/ 12:04 AM May 08, 2014

A Leyte lawmaker has introduced a new version of the antitrust bill that he said would impose heavier penalties on monopolies, anticompetitive mergers and unfair trade practices.

Deputy Speaker and Leyte Rep. Sergio Apostol said his bill also imposes stiffer penalties on foreigners who would violate the measure.

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Foreigners found violating the measure would be deported only after serving jail terms.

“The increased deviousness and complexity of schemes in perpetuating monopolies in the country by multinational competitors necessitates an equally sophisticated legislation that would effectively address this concern,” Apostol said in a statement.

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Apostol’s bill is the latest of several antitrust measures filed in the House.

The committees on economic affairs and trade and industry have begun deliberations on the measures, which have received support from various agencies and business groups.

Apostol’s bill provides that violators be fined between P10 million and P50 million for individuals and between P250 million and P750 million for companies.

Key officials of a violating company could face a maximum jail term of 10 years.

The measure is intended to promote free, full and fair competition in trade, industry and commercial economic activities.

It seeks to curb monopolies and unfair competition in business by preventing the concentration of economic power that could control production, stifle competition, manipulate free markets and increase prices.

According to Apostol, protecting the people against price manipulation would give consumers improved access to reasonably priced goods and commodities.

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TAGS: antitrust law, Leyte Rep. Sergio Apostol, News, Regions
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