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The Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) has reminded firms undertaking sizeable mergers or acquisitions to conduct due diligence to ensure compliance with antitrust law.

 “This includes [mergers and acquisitions] M&A or joint venture transactions with considerable share in the markets they operate in—such as the reported transaction between TV5 and ABS-CBN, two of the top media firms in the country,” said PCC’s OIC Chairperson Johannes R. Bernabe. 

In a statement on Friday, the competition watchdog’s OIC said “PCC’s mandate to review transactions, whether on the basis of compulsory notification or motu proprio, remains in place to avoid the rise of new monopolies or consolidation of market power that may be detrimental to consumers.”

PCC said it supports the push for an enabling business environment to spur investments and partnerships amid the country’s post-pandemic recovery period. 

Still, the competition watchdog reminds firms to do so in compliance with the Philippine Competition Act to avoid penalties, unwinding of transactions, and ensure no substantial lessening of competition in the relevant markets. 

Republic Act 10667 or the Philippine Competition Act (PCA) is the primary competition policy of the Philippines for promoting and protecting the competitive market. It will protect the well-being of consumers and preserve the efficiency of competition in the market. 

On Thursday, businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan (MVP) unveiled that talks between TV5 and ABS-CBN, two of the top media companies in the Philippines, about entering into a joint venture are in the closing stages. 

Pangilinan said TV5 is not acquiring any shares in ABS-CBN. Instead, ABS will be investing in TV5. 

As the country’s antitrust authority, PCC is mandated under the Philippine Competition Act to review mergers, acquisitions, and joint ventures of firms across all sectors that meet the threshold to ensure that these deals do not harm the interest of consumers. 

Image credits: AP/Aaron Favila