LOOK: PLDT and Sky Cable Agreement in Process With PCC Keeping Close Watch

PLDT has entered an agreement with the Lopez group to buy the broadband business of Sky Cable, but it is still subject to regulatory clearance.

The Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) is monitoring the agreement between PLDT and Sky Cable Corp. over the acquisition of the latter’s broadband business. The deal—should it be finalized and completed—will amount to around PHP 4.9 per share or PHP 6.75 billion in total. 

To date, the acquisition has already been approved by the board of directors of both PLDT and Sky Cable’s majority owner, ABS-CBN Corp. Its board has approved the sale of its interests, which represent 58.7% of Sky Cable’s stock. Because of this, the board is expecting to receive PHP 4 billion in gross proceeds.

Inquirer Business notes in its own report that while the acquisition has already been approved by the boards of both companies, it is still subject to regulatory clearances. 

Why PCC is Keeping a Close Eye on the Deal 

According to Manila Standard, PCC wants to ensure that “fair competition is observed” in PLDT’s acquisition of Sky Cable. Moreover, the anti-trust body pointed out that this is not the first time that PLDT made an effort to acquire Sky Cable. Previous plans to acquire Sky Cable have been rescinded in 2020 and 2022. 

Manila Standard adds that “The PCC reiterated its mandate, which is to evaluate the effect of acquisitions in relevant markets and its effects on consumers, whether the transaction will result in fewer choices and lesser competition.” 

What PLDT’s Acquisition of Sky Cable Means

Should PLDT’s latest effort to acquire Sky Cable be successful, both companies will be able to expand their broadband services in the country—particularly its coverage in remote areas. This will be especially helpful as the country continues to embrace digitalization in many aspects, including education and business. 

“PLDT Inc. is expected to have [a] bigger market share—and a ‘comfortable lead’ over its competitors—in the broadband space following the acquisition of Sky Cable Corp. for P6.75 billion, according to Fitch Group unit CreditSights,” notes a report from Inquirer Business.

What’s more, the Manuel V. Pangilinan-led company can increase its market share to around 47% to 48%. Citing Fitch Group unit CreditSights, it also notes that competitors Globe Telecom Inc. and Converge ICT Solutions Inc. have 31% and 21% market shares, respectively. 

Sky Cable’s customers will likewise be added to PLDT’s subscriber base. According to Inquirer Business, Sky Cable has around 350,000 customers to date.