Mass housing developer 8990 Holdings Inc. offered a settlement with the Philippine Competition Commission on the company’s alleged violation when it assigned a sole internet provider to residents and tenants.
8990 Holdings president Willibaldo Uy said in a recent interview the company had already allowed other internet service providers to offer their facility to the company’s condominium buildings.
“We made an offer already and but the final decision will be up to PCC,” said Uy.
“We saw our mistake and we see where they are coming from. But 8990 won’t be affected. From now on, we have to be careful about these things,” he said.
He said the the company did not block ISPs from the company’s condominium development in Tondo, Manila. The ISPs did not want to come in as they did not see low-cost housing as a viable market, he said.
“So as a property developer we have to look for an internet provider that is willing to come in. But right now, there is no more exclusivity” he said.
In April,the Enforcement Office of the PCC filed a case against 8990 Holdings and Urban Deca Homes Manila Condominium Corp. for breaching the antitrust law by engaging in an exclusive internet service tie-up on its property in Tondo, Manila.
The exclusive deal between Urban Deca Homes Manila and Itech Rar Solutions Inc. marked the first abuse of market dominance case filed before the PCC in violation of Section 15 of the Philippine Competition Act, which prohibits abuses of dominant position.
Based on the investigation conducted by the PCC, 8990 Holdings’ exclusive partnership with one ISP prevented the entry and access of other providers in Urban Deca Homes Manila.
It also found that Urban Deca Homes Manila’s property manager blocked other ISPs from installing fixed-line internet on units and from marketing their services to interested residents. Jenniffer B. Austria
Residents also complained that “Fiber to Deca Homes” charges P1,249 for 2Mbps, which is almost equivalent to a 5Mbps plan from other service providers, while its 5Mbps monthly plan of P2,599 only costs P1,299 from other networks. Its 6Mbps service costs P2,949, which is equivalent to 50Mbps from one ISP, and almost the same price for 100Mbps from another ISP.
Uy, meanwhile, said the company planned to spend over P1 billion to acquire a 180- to 200-hectare property in Pampanga. The property will be developed into mass housing projects similar to Urban Deco Homes Tondo and Urban Deca Homes Ortigas.