The Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) received a total of P812 billion worth of merger and acquisition transactions last year, doubling the value of M&As filed with the antitrust body from 2018.
In its 2019 Annual Report, titled “Keeping Unfair Competition in Check,” the PCC disclosed it received 46 merger and acquisitions last year. Of this, the agency approved 30 and prohibited the consummation of one, namely, the merger of two sugar millers in Southern Tagalog.
The 46 notifications for M&As translated into P811.61 billion worth of transaction value based on PCC records.
Broken down, 11 of the notifications came from manufacturing, followed by nine in electricity, gas and steam industry; eight in real-estate activities; five in financial and insurance activities; and three in mining and quarrying, as well as in wholesale and retail trade.
In terms of value, real-estate activities accounted for nearly half of the total at P383.7 billion. Mining and quarrying came in second with P129.23 billion; electricity, gas and steam in third with P117.36 billion; manufacturing in fourth with P99.17 billion; and financial and insurance activities in fifth with P25.43 billion.
“The number of notified M&As was 22 percent higher than in 2018, but the total transaction value had almost doubled. The sectors with the most number of notified transactions in 2019 were manufacturing, electricity and gas, real estate and finance and insurance,” the PCC report read.
In sum, the PCC had received 204 M&As with a cumulative amount of P3.3 trillion from 2016 to 2019. It approved 188 of these transactions, blocked one, is presently reviewing nine, while six had not been refiled.
According to the report, the antitrust completed all of its merger and acquisition reviews within the required timetable under the law.
Last year the agency averaged 21 calendar days in finishing the 30-day phase one review and 52 calendar days in concluding the 60 day phase two review. The PCC boasted this to be part of its actions to fulfill its merger review mandate while at the same time promoting the ease of doing business.
Meanwhile, the PCC also reported that the total amount of fines it slapped last year hit P114.6 million, which is quadruple than the penalties it imposed in 2018.
According to the agency, it already collected P40.9 million of these fines from 2019. Since its establishment in 2016, the antitrust has issued fines totaling P162.3 million and collected a sum of P72.6 million.