DITO files complaint vs Globe, Smart with PH Competition Commission

Jekki Pascual, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 08 2022 03:50 PM | Updated as of Aug 08 2022 05:19 PM

MANILA - DITO Telecommunity on Monday said it has filed 2 complaints against Globe Telecom and PLDT-Smart with the Philippine Competition Commission accusing the two telcos of "abuse of their dominant position."

In a briefing, DITO chief administrative officer Adel Tamano said it was difficult for DITO subscribers to call Smart and Globe numbers. 

He said this was the basis of their complaint based on standards set by the National Telecommunications Commission.

Tamano gave an example but did not name which telco he was referring to.

"Out of 100 calls that DITO makes to reach out to one of these telcos, only 30 are able to get through. Seventy out of 100 calls are unable to interconnect. For the other one, it's even worse, out of 100 calls, only 20 are able to interconnect," said Tamano.

He said DITO has been asking Globe and Smart to comply with government policy that there must be good interconnection among telcos.

"We are alleging abuse of dominant position. Obviously Globe and Smart are in a dominant position. They're giants. Our market share for the entire market is at most 5 percent," Tamano said.

In a statement sent to ABS-CBN, the Philippine Competition Commission confirmed that it has received DITO's 2 separate complaints for possible anti-competitive practices against Globe and Smart. The Commission has 10 days to decide on whether or not to give due course to the complaints, it said.

The PCC said it is now evaluating the merit of the complaints.

"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," the PCC said.

The antitrust body said interconnection is an essential component in the telco space as it allows interoperability and exchange of calls and SMS between networks. The PCC will also consult with the NTC for the related regulatory concerns, it added.

Meanwhile, DITO said it aimed to foster competition in the telco space.

"That was the genesis of DITO. We entered the market, specifically to bring competition and we do believe that competition is good. When there is competition, prices are better, service is improved, you get more investments," Tamano said. 

"We provide much better and cheaper service. People will go to us. Subscribers will go to us. And that's why they are stopping that. It's an abuse of dominant position," he said.

DITO did not release copies of the complaints saying they contained confidential information.

Despite the issue, Tamano said DITO can still achieve its goal of reaching 12 million subscribers by the end of the year.

DITO hit the 11 million-subscriber mark as of the end of July, its operator DITO CME Holdings said in a separate disclosure to the stock exchange on Monday. 

ABS-CBN News reached out to both Globe Telecom and Smart Communications for comments.

PLDT/Smart in a statement said they haven't received the copy of the complaint yet.

"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," PLDT said.

Globe said it has yet to receive a copy of the complaint.

"Until such time, we will refrain from issuing a statement," Globe said. 

The Ayala-led telco added that it supports fair business practices and competing in a level playing field.

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