Philippines

PCC resolves its first case on abuse of dominance

The competition authority has accepted commitments and imposed penalties for abuse of dominance by the sole internet services provider for certain residential projects.

The PCC confirmed that the commitments from the respondents will remedy the harm arising from the abusive conduct as the same will: (i) cease the anti-competitive conduct and prevent its recurrence, (ii) restore competition, and (iii) effect deterrence. These include the following:

  • cessation from the subject conduct;
  • posting of notices in conspicuous places in its condominium projects stating that there is no exclusive ISP for the condominium;
  • occupants who are in a lock-in period may opt-out of their ISP subscription contracts at no cost and without penalty or discrimination;
  • issuance of a public apology in two newspapers of national circulation;
  • adoption of compliance manuals;
  • submission of documents to show the existence of a competition compliance program involving primary officers who must cascade the information to all subordinates;
  • submission of a report, under oath with the commitments, terms and conditions; and
  • allow the PCC to conduct interviews and inspect and copy records regarding the foregoing.

 

Authority can now carry out dawn raids following Supreme Court ruling

New procedural rules governing PCC inspection powers in competition investigations took effect on 16 November 2019.

Under the new rules, the PCC may apply to a court for an inspection order authorising the search and inspection of business premises, land, and vehicles and to examine, copy, photograph, record, or print information relevant to an investigation conducted by the PCC (i.e., dawn raid). The information collected may then be used by the PCC in its investigation. Refusal to comply with an inspection order may be considered contempt of court, which may result in the imposition of fines and the imprisonment of the responsible officer of the entity subject of the search.