PLDT and Globe battle over Bayantel acquisition

Philippine Long Distance Telephone (PLDT) has opposed Globe Telecom’s proposal to acquire Bayan Telecommunications (Bayantel).

PLDT has filed a petition with the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) in the Philippines, claiming that an acquisition by Globe would circumvent rules on the allocation of spectrum.

A statement from PLDT said that Globe’s application was “anti-competitive, anti-consumer and of unfair trade practice”.

Globe holds a 32% share in the Philippines mobile market while PLDT has a 68% share, and the company told local reporters that Globe’s acquisition would mean it acquired a disproportionate amount of spectrum in relation to subscribers.

Froilan Castelo, Globe’s legal counsel attorney, has since said that everything is legal and above board.

According to Castelo, Globe’s acquisition of Bayantel would help the company “to continue its operations, ensure the continued employment of 1,100 workers, thereby empowering Bayantel to contribute to the growth of the telecommunications market and industry”.

Following the disastrous results of Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines, Castelo has also said that PLDT should be focussing on rescue efforts in the country, rather than engaging in “divisive discussions on its opposition”.

“We at Globe have been working hard and against all odds in bringing back our service to the typhoon-stricken areas of the Visayas as well as helping the victims with their other needs and we’d rather not engage in any hostilities initiated by PLDT at a time when our brothers and sisters are in grief,” Castelo said.

PLDT has since retaliated, claiming that its opposition to the deal fell ahead of the typhoon.

“This case has nothing at all to do with Typhoon Yolanda,” Ramon Isberto, spokesperson for PLDT, said yesterday.

“This legal dispute should not distract us from working on our respective responsibilities to restore our services and assist in relief work.”

A successful acquisition by Globe would allow both Bayantel and Globe to utilise each other’s networks, services and infrastructure.

TSF was the first communications relief to arrive at the disaster scene following Typhoon Yolanda, where it deployed vital emergency telecoms infrastructure.

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