PCC looking into complaints against exclusive internet deals in property developments

The Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) has formed a task force to look into complaints concerning property developers that are preventing residents from availing internet service from their providers of choice.

PCC chairman Arsenio Balisacan said in a webinar that after the antitrust body’s first abuse of dominance case involving an exclusive internet deal in a condominium was resolved, it has been receiving similar complaints and queries.

“Due to the number of such complaints we have received and cognizant of the importance of internet services amid the pandemic, we set up a task force that will look into similar cases,” he said. 

In 2019, the PCC ordered Urban Deca Homes Manila Condominium Corp. and parent firm 8990 Holdings Inc. to pay a fine of P27.11 million after requiring unit owners and tenants to subscribe to an exclusive in-house internet service provider (ISP).

Earlier this year, the PCC filed a case against condominium developer Greenfield Development Corp. for allegedly preventing residents of Twin Oaks Place in Mandaluyong City from subscribing to other ISPs other than its wholly-owned Leopard Connectivity Business Solutions Inc. 

Balisacan said there is also an ongoing probe on a similar complaint involving a subdivision owner.

The Philippine Competition Act prohibits the abuse of a dominant market position by entities.

“We have always asserted that competition is an important lever that the government should exploit in its pursuit of inclusive development. Fair competition pushes businesses to come up with innovative and better-quality products and services at competitive prices. It therefore benefits the public, especially the poor,” Balisacan said.