NTC sets terms for PLDT-Digitel union

The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) will likely yield to Globe Telecom’s demand that its rival, Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT), be stripped of some of its allegedly “excess” radio frequencies before it is allowed to take over Digitel Telecommunications Phil.

NTC, the state telecom regulator, has to greenlight PLDT’s bid to acquire Digitel’s operations for P74.1 billion. Digitel’s parent firm, JG Summit Holdings, earlier set a deadline of Aug. 26 for the completion of the deal.

NTC Deputy Commissioner Carlo Martinez said on Wednesday the three-man commission discussing the possible implications of the PLDT-Digitel deal would try to finalize its decision before the end of the week.

“We’re still trying to determine the conditions that we will impose… to safeguard the interests of consumers,” he told reporters.

Digitel operates mobile brand Sun Cellular, the country’s third-largest telecom company with 15 million subscribers. The deal will give PLDT a 70-percent market share in terms of industry revenues and subscribers.

Globe Telecom, the Ayala-led firm that is opposing PLDT-Digitel deal, earlier called on the NTC to strip PLDT of one of its frequencies in the third-generation (3G) band to avoid creating an imbalance of allocations in favor of one group.

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