DITO complains of rivals’ ‘anti-competitive acts’ in interconnection deal

The Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) is evaluating two separate complaints filed by Dennis Uy-led DITO Telecommunity against rivals Globe Telecom and PLDT for alleged anti-competitive practices in their interconnection deals.

“Our Competition Enforcement Office (CEO) is now evaluating the merits of Dito’s complaints. The Commission has 10 days within which to decide whether or not to give due course to the complaint,” the PCC said in a statement on Monday.

“If given due course, our CEO 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,” it added.

The competition watchdog said it will also consult with the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) for related regulatory concerns.

‘Abuse of dominant position’

DITO announced on Monday that it filed a complaint before the PCC to resolve a year-long interconnection problem with its competitors, who have been “not very compliant” with the legal mandate, it said.

DITO chief administrative officer Adel Tamano said 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,” said Tamano.

“People are subscribing to us but if interconnection is better, we will get more subscribers,” he added. But the two telcos “have refused to give us genuine interconnection so we are left with no other recourse.”

DITO chief technology officer also Rodolfo Santiago said the existing interconnection woes serve as a “barrier” for the company to “expand and compete.”

Under the law, 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.

Fair play

Both Globe and PLDT said they have yet to receive a copy of the respective complaints against them, but stressed that they are committed to fair play in the industry.

“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,” Yoly Crisanto, Globe Chief Sustainability and Corporate Communications Officer, said.

The PLDT Group, meanwhile, said: “We are yet to receive a copy of the complaint, but we can assure the government and the public that PLDT and Smart have always supported and ensured fair competition in the telco industry.”


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