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PLDT seeks gag order for Philippine watchdog

Philippine telco giant PLDT Inc. wants to put an end to the Philippine Competition Commission's public statements about PLDT and Globe Telecom's joint acquisition deal for San Miguel Corp.'s telco business Vega Telecom Inc., the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported Oct. 11.

PLDT filed a motion for the issuance of a gag order before the Court of Appeals on Sept. 30, a copy of which was recently obtained by the Inquirer. The company said the PCC's comments about the 70 billion Philippine peso deal have drawn public sympathy for the antitrust watchdog's stance.

In addition to requesting a gag order against the PCC, the telco also asked that the court hold the regulator in indirect contempt if it makes further announcements, the report said.

The filing came about a month after the PCC released its preliminary statement of concerns about the joint buyout, where it warned about increased "cartel-like" behavior from the two telco giants.

PLDT and Globe also went to the Court of Appeals to seek an injunction against the PCC's regulatory review of the deal, which was eventually granted.

As of Oct. 11, US$1 was equivalent to 48.70 Philippine pesos.