Court junks NOW’s petition to halt selection process for third telco
The Manila Regional Trial Court has denied NOW Corp.’s plea for a 20-day restraining order against the selection process for the country’s third telco player.
Manila RTC branch 42 presiding judge Dinnah Aguila-Topacio cited “lack of urgency” in denying NOW’s petition.
A hearing, however, was set on Oct. 23 to give NOW ample opportunity to prove its entitlement to the issuance of an injunction.
Businessman Mel Velarde’s Now questioned certain provisions in the terms of reference for the selection of a new major telco player, saying that the rules violate existing law and may be declared onerous, confiscatory, and potentially extortionary.
Aside from Now, China Telecom, Mobiltel Holdings GmBH, Dennis Uy’s Udenna Corp., the joint venture of businessman Chavit Singson’s LSC Group of Companies and TierOne Communications; Norway’s Telenor Group bought bid documents for the third telco. and an undisclo
The submission and opening of bid documents was set on Nov. 7.
Under the final terms of reference issued by the National Telecommunications Commission, the potential bidders will be chosen based on the highest committed level of service for over a period of five years.
The three criteria are national population coverage with a weight of 40 percent, minimum average broadband speed of 25 percent and capital and operating expenditure with 35 percent.
The winning bidder must invest a minimum P40 billion on the the first year and P240 billion in five years.
Bidders need to shell out P700 million as participation fee. This is equivalent to 0.5 percent of the minimum capital and operational expenditure at the end of the commitment period.