MANILA - Telco giants Globe and Smart may be fined up to P100 million each if found guilty of abusing their dominant position, the Philippines' antitrust watchdog said on Wednesday.
Philippine Competition Commission officer-in-charge Joey Bernabe said this was a possible sanction it may impose on the two telcos based on the complaints filed by DITO Telecommunity.
"We can impose a maximum of P100 million each to Smart and Globe for their respective violations of the law, if that is warranted, that will be imposed by the commission as well," said Bernabe.
DITO filed complaints against Globe and Smart for alleged abuse of dominant position, accusing the more established telcos of making it difficult for DITO subscribers to connect to Globe and Smart networks.
DITO chief administrative officer Adel Tamano said out of 100 calls to Globe or Smart from DITO, only 20-30 get through.
Globe and Smart meanwhile have both accused the Dennis Uy-led telco of not doing enough to curb fraudulent calls using its network, with Globe saying DITO owed it about P622 million from fraudulent calls.
The PCC says interconnection is very essential in the telco industry and this is one of the main things they will look into.
"It cannot be that only Smart subscribers can talk to fellow Smart subscribers, so Globe and Smart subscribers have to be able to talk to each other and now DITO subscribers as well," said Bernabe.
He added, "Interconnection is a fundamental feature of a well-functioning telecoms industry."
The PCC hopes this case will eventually help improve telecommunication services for all consumers in the long run.
Public policy think-tank Infrawatch PH sides with the major telcos on the issue saying DITO should improve its services first before filing what it calls baseless petitions.