Jollibee's Coffee Bean takeover may need antitrust review: watchdog body

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 07 2019 10:12 AM | Updated as of Aug 12 2019 10:44 AM

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MANILA -- Jollibee's $350-million takeover of The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf will need to undergo an antitrust review since it meets the threshold amount for the Philippine Competition Commission to step in, the head of the watchdog body said Wednesday.

The country's largest fastfood operator, however, has not submitted documents on the acquisition, PCC Chairman Arsenio Balisacan told ANC's Market Edge.

The transaction is "not exempted from compulsory notification," Balisacan said. The PCC can review transactions that meet the P2.2 billion threshold.

Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) Chairman Arsenio Balisacan speaks during an interview at Vertis North Corporate Center in Quezon City on April 10, 2019. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

Balisacan said the PCC also recently issued a memorandum that aims to streamline the review process for solicited private-public partnership (PPP) projects. 

Under the circular, government agencies may seek exemption from compulsory notification on behalf of prospective bidders for faster rollout of infrastructure projects. The review also takes effect before the bidding process, the PCC said. 

Balisacan said the agency signed a partnership with the Department of Energy to promote competition and coordinate investigations in the sector. He said a similar deal with the Department of Transportation, Department of Public Works and Highways and the Department of Communication and Information Technology could be signed this year.