Globe Telecom has filed a case before the Court of Appeals to preserve the multi-billion-peso deal which will allow the telecommunications company to immediately use the underutilized frequencies owned by SMC for public benefit.
In its petition for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus with prayer for a temporary restraining order, Globe said the parties “strictly followed the provisions of Sections 4 and 5 of the PCC Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 16-002” when the acquisition was made in late May of this year.
San Miguel Corp. (SMC) had sold its telco assets to Globe and Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) for about P70 billion on May 30, 2016. At the center of the deal is the 700-megahertz spectrum frequency, which is more cost-efficient to operate, has wider coverage, and reaches indoor areas better.
Globe said under the MC, the deal is deemed approved if it is “consummated after the effectivity of the memorandum circular but before the effectivity of the implementing rules and regulations.”
Globe, however, said the PCC “chose to disregard this and took the position it is not bound by its own rules.”
“Under the own rules of the PCC, the transaction is already ‘deemed approved’ and the PCC cannot by whim or caprice state that it wants a review without any legal basis. The PCC cannot withhold and block the transaction out of a process not found in their own rules, and not disclosed to the public,” Globe said in a statement.
The company said despite the petition, it continues to roll out using the co-used spectrum with the joint buyout of San Miguel’s telco assets since it is committed to improving the internet experience of its customers.
“Specifically, the company is activating the 700 MHz frequency spectrum in about 500 based stations in various parts of the country. Globe is also making use of its additional allocation in the 2600 MHz band to provide additional layer for its LTE network for faster data connectivity,” Globe said.
Globe also insisted that there is “nothing anti-competitive” about the transaction to warrant its disapproval. “In fact, the immediate use of the underutilized frequencies has spurred a series of competitive data offers that drastically brought down prices of mobile data for prepaid customers,” it said.