THE Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) is inviting the public to comment on its proposed terms and conditions before allowing a property developer from settling its abuse-of-dominance case involving a condominium project in Manila.
In a statement Wednesday, the competition watchdog said it received a motion for settlement from 8990 Holdings, Inc. and its unit Urban Deca Homes Manila Condominium Corp. regarding its case on an exclusive deal with an internet service provider (ISP) for one of its residential properties in Tondo.
The motion also covered the company’s eight other condominium projects in Mandaluyong, Muntinlupa, Bulacan, Cavite, Iloilo and Cebu.
“The call for comments on the proposed settlement terms is an exercise in transparency consistent with PCC’s rules as a mechanism to elicit non-confidential comments or observations from interested third parties and stakeholders,” the PCC said.
The proposed terms, which are open for public comment until Aug. 20, require the property developer to cease its exclusive deal with ISP Itech Rar Solutions, Inc. for nine of its condominium projects.
It also requires 8990 to invite other ISPs to offer their services to the tenants of these condominiums. Existing subscribers of the “expensive” service by the ISP must be allowed to opt out of their contracts for free, even if they are bound by a lock-in period.
The administrative fine for the settlement will be 25-30% of the relevant turnover, the value of which was not disclosed by the PCC.
“In this settlement process, the commitments are expected to rectify the harms to competition for the benefit of the affected consumers and the public. Through settlement, the imposable fine may be mitigated in consideration of the respondent’s cooperation with the PCC,” it said.
The PCC Enforcement Office filed a case against 8990 Holdings and Urban Deca Homes Manila Condominium Corp. earlier this year, citing abuse of dominance, following several complaints by unit owners and tenants of the Tondo condominium that the services of the company’s exclusive ISP was slow, expensive and unreliable.
If found to have abused its dominance in the market, the company could face a fine of up to P100 million. — Denise A. Valdez