A Philippines appeals court has affirmed its order preventing the competition regulator from reviewing a $1.5 billion telecoms deal, a move that could strengthen the telecoms duopoly and further stymie foreign interest in the sector.
The country’s two largest telecom firms, PLDT Inc and Globe Telecom Inc, last year acquired from San Miguel Corp a 700 megahertz spectrum network, prized for its wider reach and compatibility with fourth-generation (4G) telecommunications services.
The Court of Appeals in August agreed to a request by PLDT, which runs cellphone operator Smart, to stop the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) from reviewing the sale. The PCC said the deal did not follow correct procedures.
The PCC filed a petition, but the court said it lacked merit, according to its Feb. 17 decision, news of which came out on Friday.