Competition body probes power, telco firms | Inquirer Business

Competition body probes power, telco firms

Targets possible collusion, anticompetitive services
By: - Reporter / @bendeveraINQ
/ 05:03 AM June 02, 2014


MANILA, Philippines–The government body tasked to ensure fair competition is investigating power firms as well as scrutinizing telecommunication services in a bid to protect consumers against monopolies, cartels and unfair trade practices.

Since a single encompassing competition law is yet to be put in place, the Department of Justice’s Office for Competition (DOJ-OFC)—formed in 2011 under Executive Order (EO) No. 45—has initially focused on three sectors where it was “likely to achieve the greatest impact” in terms of consumer protection, namely energy, telecommunications and transport, Justice Assistant Secretary and OFC head Geronimo L. Sy told the Inquirer.


“As mandated under EO 45, the OFC is currently investigating the alleged collusion among power plants that triggered power rate increases in November 2013. It is also studying the whole range of telecommunication services such as Internet speed and prepaid services to assess possible anticompetitive activities by service providers,” Sy said.


“In the transport sector, the OFC has embarked on studies regarding port congestion and truck bans to identify competition issues and recommend policy actions to address them,” he added.

If the OFC’s investigations reveal that service providers have failed to comply with the regulations overseeing their respective sectors, the office “may file appropriate cases and impose sanctions as allowed by law,” according to Sy.

Initial mapping done by the OFC showed that at present, there are more than 60 sectoral regulatory agencies implementing about 30 competition and industry-specific laws.

But as part of the Philippines’ commitment to strengthen its competition policy under the blueprint for Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) economic integration, the OFC would be pushing for the passage of a single comprehensive antitrust law within President Aquino’s term, Sy said.

Business groups have also been calling on the legislative to pass a competition law within the 16th Congress in order to level the playing field ahead of the Asean integration by 2015.

According to a research report published by the Makati Business Club (MBC) in February, Philippine business groups as well as the Joint Foreign Chambers (JFC) supported “the immediate enactment of a comprehensive competition law that would create an independent Competition Commission and prevent anticompetitive agreements, abuse of dominant position, and anticompetitive mergers.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

TAGS: power plants, power rate

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.