Power firms to be probed for unfair competition | Inquirer Business

Power firms to be probed for unfair competition

/ 02:18 AM February 24, 2024

MANILA, Philippines –The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) and the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) are joining forces to look into anticompetitive behavior in the power sector.

In a joint statement on Thursday night, the two agencies announced the creation of a joint task force “to monitor and investigate allegations of anticompetitive practices in the power sector.”

The ERC and the PCC did not provide additional details about their collaboration, including the specific allegations they are delving into and if any specific industry player is already under investigation.


The regulators did not outline their respective responsibilities, saying only that ERC would share “key industry data and insights” with the PCC to work on this initiative.


READ: Gov’t to keep close watch on power sector players

This is a follow-through of a memorandum of agreement signed by the ERC and the PCC in 2019 to conduct fact-finding inquiries in response to concerns about power outages and corresponding increases in prices of electricity.

Review of business conduct

The binding accord delineated the ERC and the PCC’s respective roles with respect to the investigation and review of unfair business conduct, abuse of dominant position and anticompetitive transactions involving the power sector.

“These joint fact-finding inquiries aim to uncover anticompetitive conducts that harm consumer welfare,” they said.

ERC Chair Monalisa Dimalanta said the regulatory agency joined hands with the antitrust body to protect consumers as “we cannot afford to go at this alone.”

READ: Energy regulator to flex police powers versus erring firms


“The broader expertise of the PCC on reviewing arrangements and behavior with a competition lens complements the energy industry-focus of the ERC. This synergy allows our respective agencies to better fulfill our mandates and serve the Filipino public,” Dimalanta said.

PCC Chair Michael Aguinaldo said the commission was looking forward to “a more efficient and expeditious investigation into possible violations of the law” to hold market players accountable to their customers.

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“This renewed collaboration between the ERC and the PCC marks a significant milestone towards fostering a more competitive power industry, drawing on our combined expertise and investigative resources,” Aguinaldo said.

TAGS: competition, Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), Philippine Competition Commission (PCC), power sector

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