The Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) said Thursday (January 27) that it’s powerless to review or stop bilyonaryo Manny Villar’s takeover of the coveted frequencies once assigned to ABS-CBN.
In a statement, PCC said the reallocation of the frequencies is a regulatory function of the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).
“It is not covered by the provisions on merger review under the Philippine Competition Act, and thus need not be notified to the PCC,” the regulator said.
PCC said it also cannot look into any possible breach of anti-competitive rules by Villar when he bought AMBS since he also owns the telco, Streamtech Systems Technologies Inc. The regulator wants to have that power, but needs Congress to award it first.
“The PCC recommends amending the rules to include it as approving body in the assignment of vacated or available frequencies. This is a practice done by many jurisdictions across the world, in consideration of the impact on competition of players over scarce public goods like frequencies,” it added.