2019News

Antitrust body files case against a condo, mass housing developer

By Rappler, April 8 2019

https://www.rappler.com/business/227651-philippine-competition-commission-files-case-against-condominium-mass-housing-developer

Image Credit to GMA News

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) filed a case against mass housing developer 8990 Holdings Incorporated and its subsidiary, Urban Deca Homes Manila Condominium Corporation, for abuse of dominance.

In a statement over the weekend, the PCC said its Enforcement Office filed a case after it found that low-cost condominium builder Urban Deca and 8990 Holdings engaged in an “exclusive internet service tie-up” for their property in Tondo, Manila.

The PCC said that this violates Section 15 of the Philippine Competition Act, which probihits abuses of dominant position. Those found guilty of abusing their dominance can be fined up to P100 million.

Enforcement Office Director Orlando Polinar said that this serves as a warning to other businesses that make use of excusive partnerships, hindering competition and cornering profit in the process.

“This act of abuse of dominance limits the choices made available to residents and is a violation of the competition law,” Polinar added.

According to the Statement of Objections filed last March 27, Urban Deca had an exclusive deal with Itech Rar Solutions Incorporated, which prevented the property’s residents and tenants from availing of other fixed-line internet service providers (ISPs).

The Department of Justice says it will not hesitate to sanction companies that are short-changing their Internet subscribers

According to the PCC, the property’s residents complained that the internet charges under the “Fiber to Deca Homes” service would cost P1,249 for 2 megabits per second (Mbps), which is around the same cost for 5 Mbps for other ISPs.

The 5 Mbps monthly plan would also cost higher at P2,599, compared to the P1,299 price of other providers. The 6 Mbps service, on the other hand, costs P2,949, the equivalent price for 100 Mbps for other ISPs.

Aside from this, the PCC’s investigation found that Urban Deca’s property manager blocked other ISPs from installing fixed-line internet in the condo units.

Polinar said that with the case filed, they intend “to stop the property manager and developer from limiting the market for fixed-line internet so third-party providers may enter such market under reasonable terms and offer choices to the residents.

In a statement sent to media on Monday, 8990 Holdings said it already received a summons and a notice of objection from the PCC, requiring it to file its formal reply.

“The legal team of 8990 Holdings Incorporated is currently looking into the matter and intends to respond with its verified answer within 45 days from receipt of said summons,” the company said. – Rappler.com

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