By Cip D.C. Cabrera
(Photo credits: Rappler)
MANILA — Amid allegations of anti-competitive practices filed by startup telecommunication company DITO Telecommunity Corporation, both Globe Communications and PLDT has countered that there is no basis for DITO’s complaints as they have repeatedly stressed that they are committed to fair play in doing business in the telecommunications industry.
On top of this, Globe and PLDT likewise claimed that they have yet to receive a copy of the respective complaints against them filed by businessman Dennis Uy, who leads the consortium formed by Uy’s Udenna Corporation (through its subsidiary Dito CME Holdings Corporation) and Chinese state-owned China Telecommunications Corporation (CTC).
“We don’t have a copy of the complaint yet. Until such time, we will refrain from issuing a statement. Globe reiterates that it has always advocated for fair business practices and competing on a level playing field,” Globe chief sustainability and corporate communications officer Yoly Crisanto pointed out.
The PLDT Group similarly also disclosed that they have yet to receive a copy of the complaint even as they assured government and the public that PLDT and Smart have always supported and ensured fair competition in the telco industry.
Despite this, the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) stated that it is now evaluating the two separate complaints filed by DITO against its rivals, adding that it has 10 days within which to decide whether or not to give due course to DITO’s allegations.
“If given due course, our CEO (chief-executive-officer) will proceed to investigate the charges and, if it subsequently finds sufficient basis, file with the Commission en banc a Statement of Objections against the allegedly erring entities,” the Commission added.
On Monday, DITO had announced that it filed a complaint before the PCC to resolve a year-long interconnection problem with its competitors, whom they alleged have been “not very compliant” with the legal mandate being implemented by the authorities.
DITO chief administrative officer Adel Tamano accused that both Globe and PLDT’s anti-competitive practice and “abuse of dominant position” are hindering the third telco’s growth.
“When our competitors do acts that are anti-competitive and abuse their dominant position, we are constrained to seek regress. Unfortunately, we have been constrained to file these two cases with the PCC. It’s unfair to our subscribers because when Smart and Globe call us, they get through, but when we call them, we are unable to connect,” Tamano cited even as he noted that if interconnection is better, they would get more subscribers.
In addition, DITO chief technology officer Rodolfo Santiago also revealed that existing interconnection woes serve as a “barrier” for the company to “expand and compete” despite the fact that under local laws, interconnection is an important component of the telco industry as it allows interoperability and exchange of calls, SMS and other information from one network to another. (ai/mtvn)