On PLDT-Digitel merger

The government, through the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), will soon rule whether it will not stop the planned merger of PLDT/Smart and Digital/Sun cellular with the former as the surviving entity. Even big businesses also need extra resources, perhaps the Gokongwei group sold out so it can have more money for its real estate and mall development (Robinsons), airline expansion (Cebu Pacific) and other businesses.

Consumers and telecom subscribers like us would naturally fear that a two-players industry (Smart and Globe) would not be to our advantage as we shall have only two choices, instead of three or four or more, in a really competitive environment. Our problem is that the Constitution limits the entry of foreign players like any of the big telecom companies in the US, Europe, Japan and other countries. With 40 percent maximum foreign equity, they will have a hard time looking for those big local players who can put up the 60 percent equity. So we just hope that a two-players industry will not result in higher telecom rates later.

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