THE PHILIPPINE Competition Commission (PCC) said it intends to form a task force that will look into previously-approved mergers and acquisitions to review how the deals developed amid fast-evolving regulations and industry structures.
PCC Chair Arsenio M. Balisacan said the proposal is being studied by the Office of the President as well as to the Department of Budget and Management.
It forms part of a broader proposal to seek a restructuring of the commission.
“We really need to do that because as you know we approved so many mergers. We need to also review what happened to these mergers and acquisitions,” Mr. Balisacan told BusinessWorld last month in Quezon City.
“It’s possible that policies have changed, regulations have changed and even the structure of the industries has changed. We need to see what happened to these,” he added.
The task force to review the progress of approved deals will be controlled by the PCC’s enforcement division.
The PCC was created by Republic Act 10667, or the Philippine Competition Act of 2015, to review mergers and acquisitions and ensure that such deals do not result in a substantial lessening of competition.
The PCC has the power to review completed deals on its own authority, or motu propio, if it finds evidence or reasonable ground that the deal, even if it falls below the notifiable threshold values, is anticompetitive.
The commission has conducted a motu proprio review on only one transaction so far: the Grab-Uber deal which resulted in Grab Holdings, Inc’s unit MyTaxi. PH Inc., taking a dominant position in the transport network vehicle services market, with the market power to raise prices and reduce the quality of its services.
To date, PCC has approved 169 out of 179 merger transactions by Filipino and international companies. The approved transactions are worth a combined P2.83 trillion. — Janina C. Lim