PCC increases penalties for competition law violations

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    The Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) has raised by 10 percent the administrative penalties for violations of the competition law taking into account inflation.

    In Memorandum Circular No. 21-001 published Jan. 25, 2021, the PCC increased the fines for anti-competitive agreements, abuses of dominance, anti-competitive mergers, and violations of compulsory merger notification effective on Feb. 9, 2021 or 15 days after publication of the circular. The increases will only apply to violations committed after the circular’s effectivity.

    The Philippine Competition Act provides for the inflation adjustment in administrative penalties every five years to maintain their real value from the time the law was enacted.

    For cartels, abuses of dominance, and prohibited mergers, the maximum administrative fine for the first offense has been raised from P 100 million to P110 million. For belated merger notification, the maximum fine is now at P2.2 million, up from P2 million.

    The adjustment also includes fines for offenses committed in the course of PCC’s competition enforcement and merger review, such as the supply of incorrect or misleading information and failure to comply with an order of the commission.

    Since 2016, the competition authority has imposed a total of P162.5 million fines on erring entities.