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CA body allows gov’t to review sale of SMC telco to Globe, Smart … or has it?

Ruling from appeals court 6th Division contradicts 12th Division's order to stop gov't probe
By: - Reporter / @MRamosINQ
/ 12:38 PM October 14, 2016
The Court of Appeals. FILE PHOTO

The Court of Appeals. FILE PHOTO

MANILA — The Court of Appeals (CA) 6th Division green-lighted the government’s competition agency’s review of the P69.1-billion buyout of the telecommunications assets of San Miguel Corp. by the country’s two leading telcos.

Interestingly, the decision of the appellate court’s Sixth Division junking the petition filed by Globe Telecoms ran counter to the ruling issued by the CA 12th Division involving the same petition filed by PLDT Inc. against the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC).

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On Aug. 26, the 12th Division granted PLDT’s motion for a writ of preliminary injunction, which barred the PCC from “conducting further proceedings for the pre-acquisition review and/or investigation of the
subject acquisition.”

The CA Sixth Division, however, denied the motion for reconsideration filed by the PCC seeking a reversal of its July 28 decision, which granted Globe’s request to consolidate the case it filed with the similar suit brought by PLDT against the competition agency.

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The ruling practically allowed Globe to just cite the injunctive relief, which the CA 12th Division has given to PLDT to block the PCC’s move to investigate the deal.

Critics of the massive deal claimed the joint purchase of SMC’s telco assets by PLDT and Globe only solidified their duopoly of the country’s telco industry.

“There is no basis to grant the petitioner Globe’s omnibus motion absent the requisites necessary for the issuance of an injunctive writ,” the appeals court 6th Division said in a four-page resolution, in allowing the PCC to review the sale of SMC telco assets to Globe and Smart.

It added: “Patently, petitioner Globe’s averment in the omnibus motion that the subject transaction is already deemed approved is a conclusion that requires proof.”

The ruling was authored by Associate Justice Nina Antonio-Valenzuela with Associate Justices Jane Lantion and Fernanda Lampas-Peralta concurring in.  SFM

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TAGS: CA 12th Division, CA 6th Division, competition, Court of Appeals, duopoly, Globe Telecoms, Philippine Competition Commission, PLDT Inc., San Miguel Corp., Smart, Telecommunication
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