PCC warns MVP, Lopez groups: Be sure TV5, ABS-CBN joint venture won’t lessen competition

The Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) has ordered TV5 and ABS-CBN Broadcasting to conduct due diligence to ensure their proposed 65-35 joint venture won’t create a media giant that will lessen competition in the TV industry.

The antitrust watchdog is mandated to ensure fair market competition.

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PCC issued the fair warning after bilyonaryo Manny V. Pangilinan revealed his group and the Lopez family are in the “closing stages” of a proposed joint venture between TV5 and ABS-CBN after over a year of haggling.

“PCC trusts that firms undertaking sizeable mergers or acquisitions conduct due diligence to ensure compliance with our antitrust law and engage in consultation with the Commission, where necessary,” the anti-trust watchdog said in a statement.

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“This includes M&A or joint venture transactions with considerable share in the markets they operate in — such as the reported transaction between TV5 and ABS-CBN, two of the top media firms in the country,” it added.

PCC said its job is to prevent the rise of new monopolies or consolidation of market power that may be detrimental to consumers.

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GMA Network of bilyonaryo Felipe L. Gozon has emerged as the dominant player in the TV industry since the former media giant ABS-CBN lost its franchise in 2020. TV5 is a far second to GMA.

The National Telecommunications Commission has given ABS-CBN’s free TV channels to ultra bilyonaryo Manny Villar, Pastor Apollo Quiboloy, and the heirs of the late businessman Antonio Cabangon-Chua.

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Armed client holds bank staff hostage to access savings

An armed customer threatening to set himself ablaze held bank workers hostage throughout the day Thursday in Lebanon’s capital, demanding to withdraw his trapped savings to pay hospital fees, security sources and a family member said.