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Antitrust agency appeals CA injunction

/ 05:40 AM September 15, 2016

The country’s antitrust regulator has asked the Court of Appeals (CA) to reconsider its injunction that halted its review of the P69-billion buyout of San Miguel Corp.’s telecommunication assets.

In a 39-page motion for reconsideration, the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) said the Aug. 26 writ of preliminary injunction effectively prejudged the case by allowing PLDT Inc. and Globe Telecom Inc. to pursue their acquisition of SMC’s assets, including the coveted 700-megahertz spectrum.

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PCC also argued that public interest outweighed the rights of PLDT being protected by the injunction.

“Respondent [PCC] humbly implores upon the Honorable Court to take a second hard look at its arguments and reconsider its Resolution dated Aug. 26, 2016 granting petitioner’s application for a writ of preliminary injunction,” the motion read.

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The CA Twelfth Division had issued the injunction at the request of PLDT, citing the need to avoid impairing the Pangilinan-led telco giant’s rights while proceedings were still ongoing.

In its injunction, the appellate court had “agreed” with PLDT’s contention that the transaction was already “deemed approved” under the PCC’s transitory rules. The said rules were issued months before the Philippine Competition Act’s implementing rules and regulations came out.

The PCC cried foul, noting in its appeal that the interpretation of its rules was precisely the dispute being litigated in the case.

Preventing the PCC from reviewing the deal also “has the effect of preempting whatever action [it] may take,” the agency argued. This was because PLDT and Globe would be allowed to pursue the deal unimpeded and “change the dynamics of the market.”

The PCC stressed that instead of preserving the status quo like stay orders are meant to do, the injunction had “altered” the situation instead.

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TAGS: Nation, news, Philippine Competition Commission, San Miguel Corp.
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