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Philippine Competition Commission to investigate cement industry

Staff Writer |
The Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) is preparing to investigate the cement industry for alleged violations of competitive practice.

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It says it has found reasonable grounds to proceed to a full administrative investigation on the cement industry for possible violations of Sections 14 and 15 of the Philippine Competition Act, according to the Philippine Star newspaper.

This follows a legal statement by Victorio Dimagiba, a former trade undersecretary, in August 2016 accusing the Cement Manufacturers Association of the Philippines (CEMAP), LafargeHolcim Philippines and Republic Cement and Building Materials of engaging in anti-competitive agreements.

Dimagiba has accused the cement producers of striking illegal agreements including, “restricting competition as to price or components thereof or other terms of trade, abusing their dominant position by engaging in conduct that substantially prevents, restricts, or lessens competition, imposing barriers to entry, or committing acts that prevent competitors from growing within the market.”

He has also alleged that Ernesto Ordonez, the head of CEMAP, has used the trade association to justify violating the Philippine Competition Act, as well as maintaining prices of domestic cement in the retail market ‘unreasonably’ high.

Ordonez responded to the claims saying that he was puzzled about the PCC’s decision and that CEMAP had not been informed about a preliminary inquiry.

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