Section 2. Declaration of Policy
The efficiency of market competition as a mechanism for allocating goods and services is a generally accepted precept.
The State recognizes that:
- past measures undertaken to liberalize key sectors in the economy need to be reinforced by measures that safeguard competitive conditions.
- the provision of equal opportunities to all promotes entrepreneurial spirit, encourages private investments, facilitates technology development and transfer and enhances resource productivity.
Unencumbered market competition also serves the interest of consumers by allowing them to exercise their right of choice over goods and services offered in the market.
Pursuant to the constitutional goals for the national economy to attain a more equitable distribution of opportunities, income, and wealth; a sustained increase in the amount of goods and services produced by the nation for the benefit of the people; and an expanding productivity as the key to raising the quality of life for all, especially the underprivileged and the constitutional mandate that the State shall regulate or prohibit monopolies when the public interest so requires and that no combinations in restraint of trade or unfair competition shall be allowed, the State shall:
(a) Enhance economic efficiency and promote free and fair competition in trade, industry and all commercial economic activities, as well as establish a National Competition Policy to be implemented by the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and all of its political agencies as a whole;
(b) Prevent economic concentration which will control the production, distribution, trade, or industry that will unduly stifle competition, lessen, manipulate or constrict the discipline of free markets; and
(c) Penalize all forms of anti-competitive agreements, abuse of dominant position and anti-competitive mergers and acquisitions, with the objective of protecting consumer welfare and advancing domestic and international trade and economic development.
Section 3. Scope and Application
This Act shall be enforceable against any person or entity engaged in any trade, industry and commerce in the Republic of the Philippines. It shall likewise be applicable to international trade having direct, substantial, and reasonably foreseeable effects in trade, industry, or commerce in the Republic of the Philippines, including those that result from acts done outside the Republic of the Philippines.
This Act shall not apply to the combinations or activities of workers or employees nor to agreements or arrangements with their employers when such combinations, activities, agreements, or arrangements are designed solely to facilitate collective bargaining in respect of conditions of employment.
Section 4. Definitions
(a) Acquisition refers to the purchase of securities or assets, through contract or other means, for the purpose of obtaining control by:
(1) One (1) entity of the whole or part of another;
(2) Two (2) or more entities over another; or
(3) One (1) or more entities over one (1) or more entities;
(b) Agreement refers to any type or form of contract, arrangement, understanding, collective recommendation, or concerted action, whether formal or informal, explicit or tacit, written or oral;
(c) Conduct refers to any type or form of undertaking, collective recommendation, independent or concerted action or practice, whether formal or informal;
(d) Commission refers to the Philippine Competition Commission created under this Act;
(e) Confidential business information refers to information which concerns or relates to the operations, production, sales, shipments, purchases, transfers, identification of customers, inventories, or amount or source of any income, profits, losses, expenditures;
(f) Control refers to the ability to substantially influence or direct the actions or decisions of an entity, whether by contract, agency or otherwise;
(g) Dominant position refers to a position of economic strength that an entity or entities hold which makes it capable of controlling the relevant market independently from any or a combination of the following: competitors, customers, suppliers, or consumers;
(h) Entity refers to any person, natural or juridical, sole proprietorship, partnership, combination or association in any form, whether incorporated or not, domestic or foreign, including those owned or controlled by the government, engaged directly or indirectly in any economic activity;
(i) Market refers to the group of goods or services that are sufficiently interchangeable or substitutable and the object of competition, and the geographic area where said goods or services are offered;
(j) Merger refers to the joining of two (2) or more entities into an existing entity or to form a new entity;
(k) Relevant market refers to the market in which a particular good or service is sold and which is a combination of the relevant product market and the relevant geographic market, defined as follows:
(1) A relevant product market comprises all those goods and/or services which are regarded as interchangeable or substitutable by the consumer or the customer, by reason of the goods and/or services’ characteristics, their prices and their intended use; and
(2) The relevant geographic market comprises the area in which the entity concerned is involved in the supply and demand of goods and services, in which the conditions of competition are sufficiently homogenous and which can be distinguished from neighboring areas because the conditions of competition are different in those areas.