Antitrust body to release guidelines on review moratorium under Bayanihan 2 law

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 14 2020 12:21 PM

The Philippine Competition Commission office in Quezon City. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA - The Philippine Competition Commission said Monday it would issue guidelines to implement the exemption of deals provided under the recently signed Bayanihan 2, the country's second coronavirus response law.

The Bayanihan to Recover as One Act, recently signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte, exempted mergers and acquisitions below P50 billion from compulsory notification "if entered within 2 years from the effectivity of this act."

Said deals shall be exempt from the PCC's power to review mergers and acquisitions for a period of one year, it said.

The provision was meant to "promote business continuity and capacity building," the Bayanihan 2 reads.

"Pursuant to this provision, the PCC will be issuing implementing guidelines for pending and future transactions," the antitrust body said in a statement.

"As the nation faces the challenges brought by the pandemic, the PCC will do its part as antitrust authority to contribute to the country’s economic recovery and perform its mandate with renewed vigor," it said.

The PCC said it would continue monitoring the market to protect the people from abusive practices such as cartels, monopolies and other restraint of trade which could affect supply and movement of essential goods.

The agency's mandate is to review large-scale mergers and acquisitions to ensure that such deals will not result in "substantial lessening of competition" to protect Filipino consumers.