The Enforcement Office of the Philippine Competition Commission filed a case against a mass housing developer for breaching the antitrust law by engaging in an exclusive internet service tie-up on its property in Tondo, Manila.
David Fruitman, DFDL Regional Competition Counsel & Senior Consultant, provided some commentary on this for Global Competition Review.
David Fruitman noted potential difficulties with this case: “There will likely be some significant market definition issues and establishment of dominance will cause difficulty unless the market was somehow limited to a very small subset of condos”.
David explained that assuming condo laws in the Philippines require full disclosure of the tied-in contract, the purchasers would have known ahead of time and could have gone to a different housing provider. David further noted that while he recognizes the issue, this may not be a great test case for the abuse of dominance provisions.
Still, he praised the Philippine enforcer for its “running start”, saying he has been regularly impressed during its early days. David noted that the commission “has moved forward in an aggressive way to develop its powers of enforcement and capabilities” observing that it was empowered to raise merger notification thresholds earlier this year in order to render its “enforcement ability more focused and effective”.
David concluded by saying that they have clearly decided on being among the competition law leaders in ASEAN and are working diligently and effectively towards these ends.
Regional Competition Counsel & Senior Consultant