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CA upholds ruling on Globe Tel vs PCC

The Court of Appeals’ (CA) sixth division has upheld its ruling that rejected the plea of Globe Telecom, Inc. to stop the probe by the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) on its purchase, together with the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT), of the P70 billion telecommunications assets of San Miguel Corp. (SMC).

Despite the rejection, however, Globe can still seek refuge in the ruling issued by the 12th division of the CA which granted the plea of PLDT for an injunction to stop the PCC investigation.

This is because the case of Globe against PCC with the CA’s sixth division has been ordered consolidated with the case of PLDT with the 12th division.

The PCC opposed the consolidation of the two cases, but the CA’s sixth division denied the opposition.

PLDT and Globe had announced that they have each acquired 50 percent of SMC’s telecom subsidiary for a total enterprise value of R70 billion, including the assumed debt of P17 billion. As part of the deal, PLDT and Globe Telecom will jointly manage SMC’s telecom subsidiaries.

Both PLDT and Globe challenged before the CA the inquiry being conducted by the PCC on the transactions. Globe’s case went to the CA’s sixth division, while PLDT’s case was raffled off to the appellate court’s 12th division.

In denying the issuance of an injunction against the PCC’s investigation, the CA’s sixth division said:

“There is no basis to grant the petitioner Globe’s Omnibus Motion, absent the requisites necessary for the issuance of an injunctive writ. Patently, petitioner Globe ‘s averment in the Omnibus Motion that the subject transaction is already deemed approved, is a conclusion that requires proof,” read the order penned by Associate Justice Nina Antonio-Valenzuela.

On the issue of consolidation of the two cases, the CA’s sixth division said:

“The Court denies the respondent Philippine Competition Commission’s Motion for Reconsideration praying that we set aside the Resolution promulgated 28 July 2016 which granted petitioner Globe Telecom Inc.’s Urgent Motion to consolidate, and ordered that this case be consolidated with CA-GR SP-146528 entitled PLDT vs. PCC.”

On the injunction against PCC investigation granted by the CA on the motion filed by PLDT, the appellate court said:

“Finding PLDT’s application for injunctive relief to be meritorious, in order to maintain the status quo ante while the case is being judiciously studied and to preserve the rights of the parties during the pendency of the instant petition and not to render ineffectual whatever judgment that may be rendered by this Court, let a writ of preliminary injunction be issued, enjoining and directing the respondent PCC, their officials and agents, or persons acting for and on their behalf to cease and desist from conducting further proceedings for the pre-acquisition review and/or investigation of the subject acquisition… until further orders from this Court.”