21 November 2015
On 21 July 2015, the president of the Philippines, Benigno Aquino III, signed into law the Philippine Competition Act (the Competition Act) advancing the Philippines’ readiness for ASEAN Economic Integration. The Competition Act came into effect on 8 August 2015. This leaves only one ASEAN country without a comprehensive competition policy ahead of the December 2015 target date set out in the ASEAN Regional Guidelines on Competition Policy.
The Competition Act establishes the Philippines' first consolidated framework on competition policy, and has been over 20 years in the making. The Competition Act prohibits business practices that restrict market competition through anti-competitive agreements and abuse of a dominant position, and introduces a compulsory notification regime for certain mergers and acquisitions. It additionally prescribes administrative and criminal penalties for violations of the law. The Competition Act has extraterritorial effect, meaning that it is enforceable against acts committed within or outside the Philippines which affect trade, industry or commerce in the Philippines.
The Competition Act also establishes the Philippines Competition Commission (the Commission) as the authority with primary responsibility for implementing and enforcing national competition policy.