The Philippine Competition Commission (PCC)  will no longer review mergers and acquisitions with transaction value of less than P50 billion following the suspension of the exercise of this function under the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act (Bayanihan 2).

PCC LOGO - Below P50-B transactions exempted from PCC review

Instead, PCC said will issue the guidelines on  Merger review with new threshold within the week.

As part of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bayanihan 2 exempts from compulsory notification those mergers and acquisitions with transaction value of less than P50 billion which are entered into within two years from effectivity of the law.

Section 4(eee)1 of the Bayanihan 2 Act also suspends PCC’s exercise of motu proprio review of these mergers and acquisitions for a period of one year. Pursuant to this provision, the PCC will be issuing implementing guidelines for pending and future transactions.

This means PCC will no longer conduct M&A for transaction value of P2.4 billion and up, only those P50 billion and above for the next two years.

As there are very few M&A’s of the magnitude of P50 billion and above, PCC will refocus and redirect its operations more on the enforcement aspect. PCC is expected to conduct more investigation involving cartels, bid rigging and others that are practices that are anti-competition.

“In line with the Bayanihan 2’s policy objective of enforcing measures to protect the people from cartels, monopolies, and combinations in restraint of trade, which affect the supply, distribution and movement of essential goods and services, the PCC is intensifying enforcement activities to scan the market for anti-competitive agreements and abusive practices that harm the Filipino people,” said the PCC statement.

The PCC will work even harder to ensure that consumer welfare and competition are safeguarded especially at a time when consumers and small businesses are more vulnerable to unscrupulous business practices.

“Rest assured that the PCC will exert all efforts to protect competition in the present for the future,” said PCC.

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

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