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Jan 17, 2018 @ 17:17

Anti-trust body to conduct market study on 10 sectors to assess competition

 

The country’s anti-trust body, the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC), will be conducting a market study on 10 sectors to ensure that businesses and industries don’t fall prey to anti-competitive behaviors that would be detrimental to the consumers.

These sectors are: rice, meat and poultry, pharmaceuticals, land transportation, air transportation, agricultural credit, digital commerce, retail, telecommunications, and certain sectors in the manufacturing sector such as cement, PCC Commissioner Stella Quimbo told reporters at a briefing Wednesday.

“We have identified these sectors because they have the most impact as far as consumer welfare is concerned,” Quimbo said.

The PCC will bid out the mandate on who would conduct the market study on each of these sectors. The study is expected to be completed within the year.

“It’s good to have an independent and objective body looking at these sectors rather than the PCC especially in the context of telco because other parties might say of course the PCC will say that,” PCC Commissioner Johannes Benjamin Bernabe said, when asked why the PCC won’t be the one doing the study.

“So we intend to have an independent, objective third party experts that will do the market study,” Bernabe added.

Bernabe was apparently referring to the PCC’s legal tussle with the country’s two biggest telco players. It would be recalled that the PCC wanted to review the sale of San Miguel’s telco assets to PLDT and Globe for P70 billion. But the anti-trust agency was prevented from completing the review after the Court of Appeals affirmed the validity of the deal.

The nearly two-year old PCC — created in February 2016 as provided for under Republic Act 10667, otherwise known as the Philippine Competition Act — is tasked to promote competition by disallowing anti-competitive agreements, conduct, as well as mergers and acquisitions that put consumers at a disadvantaged by leaving them with less choices, higher prices, and inefficient services.

Once the market study is complete, the PCC will come up with policy recommendations to help foster more competition in these sectors.

“We will take the market study as an objective assessment of these sectors. The Commission will review and identify competition concerns and would prioritize those concerns and figure out how to address those concerns,” Quimbo said.

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