Competition body acts upon 47 cases of merger and acquisition
MANILA — Even as the implementing guidelines for the country’s antitrust law took effect only over the weekend, the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) has already acted upon 47 notifications for merger and acquisition (M&A) deals.
In a text message, PCC Chair Arsenio M. Balisacan said all these notifications were filed before the quasi-judicial body under the interim rules issued last February.
The PCC came out with the transitory guidelines for the review of new M&A deals worth over P1 billion for firms listed in the stock market as well as non-listed companies.
These interim rules were issued to allow the PCC to start its work even while drafting the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of Republic Act (RA) No. 10667 or the Philippine Competition Act.
Balisacan had said that several foreign investments and big business deals had been put on hold prior to the issuance of the interim rules because of the lack of guidelines aimed at checking uncompetitive business practices.
The IRR of RA 10667 was finalized only this month.
RA 10667, described as the country’s first foray into anti-trust regulation, was signed into law in July 2015, but it was only in February that Malacañang formed the quasi-judicial commission with former Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Balisacan as its first chair.
The Philippine Competition Act has a two-year “transition period” before the PCC strictly implements the law.
In a meeting with the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) last week, Balisacan was quoted as saying that the transition period “provides time for companies that are ’violating’ the law to unfold /reverse their structures/deals.”
“However, the two-year transition period does not affect the PCC to implement the law; it is in this context that the PCC reviews the telco deal,” Balisacan was quoted by the ECCP as saying, referring to the buyout of San Miguel Corp.’s telco assets by PLDT and Globe. SFM
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