Apparently there’s broadband exclusivity in Twin Oaks Place, and that’s something that the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) doesn’t look kindly to. The commission received a complaint on December 29 from unit owners of Twin Oaks Place in Mandaluyong City about being restricted to one ISP, Leopard Connectivity Business Solutions Inc. which Greenfield also owns.
PCC’s Chairman Arsenio Balisacan describes the Twin Oaks Place broadband exclusivity case as “abuse of dominance.” “Abuse of dominance cases are evaluated with the end view of dismantling exploitative and exclusionary practices in business and ultimately empowering consumer choice,” Balisacan said in a statement.
PCC’s investigation revealed that Leopard charges Php 2,699 monthly for a maximum of 20 Mbps and Php 3,500 a month for a 100-150 Mbps network, which is far more expensive than similar broadband speeds offered by other ISPs at a cheaper cost. In addition, the condo tower where this restriction is implemented is not configured to be exclusive to Greenfield’s own ISP. This means internet providers like Smart, Converge or Globe could technically service Twin Oak Place residents had they not been restricted to Leopard. Greenfield has not yet issued a statement regarding PCC’s probe.
Other developers have been also been previously penalized for similar malpractice such as Fiber to Deca Homes (FTDH) which the developers of Urban Deca Homes imposed as the sole ISP its residents could use, this ultimately resulted in Urban Deca Homes being fined in 2019. According to PCC, if an entity is found at fault for monopolizing services, it may be fined up to Php 110 million under the Philippine Competition Act.
Under the eight basic consumer rights, the right to choose is among the business practices that the PCC is safeguarding. PCC is currently on alert for anti-competitiveness among businesses, especially under the pandemic. You may report businesses that have price-fixing, bid rigging, or other anti-competitive agreements, such as the abuse of dominance you may file a complaint on their website.