Petition Tag - market share

1. Congress Must Investigate PLDT-Digitel Merger Deal

You may directly sign the petition here

Recent explosion over the media on the issue of the "PLDT-Digitel deal" raises the question on "What will be the impact that the merger might have on consumers and on the price of the service that consumers pay for their cellphone (and internet) services?" as Secretary Ricky A. Carandang relayed from economic managers.

What if the PLDT-Digitel deal is approved?

PLDT would become the undisputed leader in the Philippine telecommunications industry. It would have 2G and 3G licenses and frequency allocations control plus owning 70% of the domestic market.

This ain't much of a concern by the consumer public. So what? Good for them. Good for us? "Experts" should examine whether it is good or not for the bargaining power or the ability to control prices of the consumers.

Digitel's Sun Cellular is well-known for its introduction of "unlimited call and text" or the "bucket pricing" in the telcom sector thereby making Globe and Smart initiate their own "unlimited" schemes.

Analysts in newspapers columns say that purchase of Digitel by PLDT (Smart) would remove "price wars" that is keeping telcom prices at affordable rates. It would also shoo away San Miguel Corp. from the competition as what it had brushed shoulders with in other sectors.

Recently, President Aquino ordered the deal to a halt as they try to investigate the P69.2-billion invesment.

Awakening A Sleeping Monopoly?

“We will keep Digitel as a separate company. This is not a merger… more importantly, we will maintain the unlimited and bucket-priced services of Sun Cellular," Pangilinan told reporters.

PLDT says (as what I have read on newspapers) that the merger would be beneficial since it would result to better services and more competitive prices.

In fact, it is what we consumers are not sure of.

We don't want to return to the dark ages of the old monopoly like 20 years ago. When Lee Kuan Yew delivered a speech in the country, President Fidel Ramos took action on what the Prime Minister of Singapore said:

"In the Philippines, 95% of the population has no telephone, while the remaining 5% are waiting for the dial tone."

Thus, legalities were done to liberalize and break the monopoly of the telecommunications industry.

2. Hands off our Coops! - they compete fairly!

The complaints against French, Spanish and Italian cooperatives that are being looked at by the European Commission are made by large shareholding companies. They are trying to get changes to the national tax rules for co-operatives. Any changes to these rules would reduce competition and would steal the coops' business. The Commission's decisions on the complaints may not just concern a few large co-operatives but they could also badly effect all coops across Europe.

Cooperatives are specifically written about in the EU treaties. Twenty five European Union countries have their own laws for co-operatives. Co-operatives are a different kind of business. Cooperative businesses rely on the principles of democratic control, self-responsibility, equity and solidarity. Co-ops have a unique legal and financial structure that needs to be recognised. The Commission cannot be allowed to pretend that they are comparing the same things when they compare co-ops with private sector businesses.

If you believe that attention has to be paid to the social and human dimension in economic activities and that a strong political message needs to be given to the European Commission, please sign the following petition.

You can read the Petition text HERE in EN/DE/ES/FR/IT and PL

News Update: There is also circulating in Europe a paper version of the petition (using the same text as below). As of 30 September 08 over 88000 signatures on-line and on paper have been collected by cooperatives and their members. The Petition will remain open until further notice.

For a statistical analysis of signers by region, click here.