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Leopard Connectivity denies anti-competitive barrier

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THE firms facing a complaint from the competition regulator for limiting condominium residents to an affiliated internet service provider (ISP) have denied impeding competition.

The Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) last week said that Greenfield Development Corp. prevents residents of its Twin Oaks Place in Mandaluyong from using competing fixed-line internet services other than its wholly-owned Leopard Connectivity Business Solutions, Inc.

Leopard in an e-mail on Tuesday said that neither firm sought to take advantage of their parent-subsidiary relationship.

“No barrier was imposed to the entry of other telcos in Twin Oaks Place,” Leopard President Jeffrey Campos said.

Mr. Campos said that the companies are cooperating with the PCC during its investigation. The company did not provide details on their response to possible attempts from residents or competing firms to use another ISP, citing the ongoing case.

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The commission said residents complained that they were unable to use an alternative provider while claiming higher prices and less reliable services from Leopard.

Section 15 of the Philippine Competition Act “prohibits exploitative and exclusionary conduct that substantially lessens competition.” Firms found to have abused their dominant position could be fined up to P110 million.

PCC in the first abuse of dominance case in the country levied a P27.11-million fine against Urban Deca Homes Manila Condominium Corp. and parent company 8990 Holdings, Inc. in 2019 after the housing developer required unit owners and tenants to sign up with a single ISP. — Jenina P. Ibañez

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