Nongovernment policy thinktank Infra Watch PH argued that the landmark deal between the Lopez family’s ABS-CBN Corp. and the MVP Group’s TV5 Network would not require a Congressional approval
Terry Ridon, convenor of Infrawtch PH said he expects all levels of government to try to “sabotage” the joint venture agreement between ABS-CBN and TV5 with several lawmakers already calling for an inquiry amid possible violations of the anti-trust law.
Under the deal, ABS-CBN will acquire 35 percent of TV5 for P2.16 billion while selling its stake in cable TV firm Sky Cable.
“However, this deal is not a franchise issue, as this involves no transfer of controlling stakes requiring congressional approval,” he said.
“More importantly, Congress should focus on more important public concerns, such as economic recovery and social programs, instead of wasting time inquiring on content sharing deals between media entities,” Ridon added.
He also pointed out that there may be no basis for the Philippine Competition Commission to reject the deal as this does not involve a transaction which will reduce or limit competition.
” In fact, when ABS-CBN lost its franchise in 2020, it ceased to be the dominant player in the broadcast segment, and TV5 has not yet attained dominant status in the same sector,” Ridon said.
“However, given the size of the transaction and the entities involved, they may opt to undertake voluntary review with the PCC. This is not compulsory, as the transaction does not meet the current P50 billion threshold for compulsory review,” he added.