Antitrust and competition in Philippines

Gatmaytan Yap Patacsil Gutierrez & Protacio (C&G Law)

Complimenting the firm's broader corporate practice, the competition and antitrust team at Gatmaytan Yap Patacsil Gutierrez & Protacio (C&G Law) has developed a strong merger control offering. The practice has recently expanded in scope and now also handles investigation work. The group has advised on the competition elements of several significant M&A deals in the food and drink, manufacturing and technology sectors. Founding partner Norma Margarita Patacsil is the key practitioner, while senior associates Jillienne Grace Sotto and Andrea Katipunan are other valued members of the team.

Key clients

LafargeHolcim Ltd./Holcim Philippines, Inc.

Pepsi-Cola Products Philippines, Inc.

Hitachi-Omron Terminal Solutions Corp.

Work highlights

  • Advised LafargeHolcim Ltd. on the compeition law aspects of the divestment of its entire shareholdings in Holcim Philippines, Inc. to an affiliate of San Miguel Corporation.
  • Assisted Pepsi-Cola Products Philippines, Inc. with its Philippine Competition Commission notification in relation to the tender offer by Lotte Chilsung Beverage Co. Ltd. to acquire a majority of its outstanding shares, worth around USD80.9 million.
  • Advised Hitachi-Omron Terminal Solutions Corporation on the competition aspects of the divestment of its entire shareholdings in Hitachi Terminals Mechatronics Philippines Corporation (HTMP) to  Mikuni Toyo Ltd.

Quisumbing Torres

Quisumbing Torres has been heavily involved in a range of competition issues since the introduction of the Philippine Competition Act 2015, most notably merger control matters. The practice is also frequently instructed to provide training to employees on the new legal framework. Capable of servicing numerous industries, the group is especially active in the healthcare, manufacturing, consumer goods and retail sectors. The team also benefits from being part of Baker McKenzie's global antitrust and competition group, allowing it to draw on international expertise. Christina Macasaet-Acaban leads the practice and is held in high regard for her work with clients from the healthcare and life science sectors.

Practice head(s):

Christina Macasaet-Acaban

Other key lawyers:

Alain Charles Veloso

Key clients

Pfizer Inc.

SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan

Having obtained the first anti-trust clearance under the merger control regime, SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan has been heavily involved in competition law in the region since the beginning. The group continues to operate an extensive merger control practice, assisting large multinational companies with transactions in the pharmaceutical, technology and manufacturing sectors. In addition, the team advises on the competition elements of vertical agreements including resale price restrictions, exclusivity and non-compete provisions, and sole supply arrangements. Arlene Maneja and Franco Aristotle Larcina are the key practitioners; the former participated in the policy discussions that led to the introduction of the competition act, while the latter has experience of cartelisation and abuse of dominance issues.

Other key lawyers:

Leah C. Abutan

Key clients

Metro Pacific Group

San Miguel Corporation

Archipelago Capital

Dentsu Aegis Network

Manila Electric Company

TPG Growth III SF Pte Ltd

Alipay

Mitsubishi Fudosan

Mitsubishi Corporation

Work highlights

  • Represented GlaxoSmithKline plc  before the Philippine Competition Commission and obtained merger clearance for the acquisition of Pfizer Inc.’s consumer healthcare business.
  • Assisted San Miguel Corporation and Top Frontier in preparing voluntary commitments that would satisfy the competition concerns identified by the Mergers and Acquisitions Office of the Philippine Competition Commission.
  • Represented Infineon Technologies AG in its €9.6 billion acquisition of Cypress Semiconductor Corporation

Gulapa & Lim (Gulapa Law)

Established in 2015, Gulapa & Quicho (Gulapa Law) advises government agencies, banks and private companies on merger control and clearance issues. The group is particularly active advising clients in the infrastructure space on project structuring compliance issues, most notably in relation to transport; a recent highlight has been assisting the Asian Development Bank with the applicability of the merger notification regime in relation to the Metro Manilla subway system. Aris Gulapa, the founding partner and key practitioner, has global competition law experience having previously assisted the chair of the antitrust bureau in New York.

Practice head(s):

Aris Gulapa

Other key lawyers:

Jose Angel Machuca

Key clients

Asian Development Bank

Consortium of Aboitiz InfraCapital, Inc., AC Infrastructure Holdings Corporation, Alliance Global Group, Inc., Asia’s Emerging Dragon Corporation, Filinvest Development Corporation, JG Summit Holdings, Inc., and Metro Pacific Investments Corporation

Department of Transportation

Bases Conversion Development Administration

Work highlights

  • Advised a client on the gaps in the Philippine Competition Act  as well as conducting training for the executive and the managers.
  • Assisting a client in structuring a consortium in compliance with the merger regulations of the Philippine Competition Act and advising the client on the timing of the merger notification to the Competition Commission.
  • Advised Asia Development Bank on the procedure for obtaining a Certificate of Exemption for unsolicited projects being tendered by the Department of Transportation and representing the client before the Competition Commission.

Martinez Vergara Gonzalez & Serrano

Martinez Vergara Gonzalez & Serrano advises groups of companies and banks on pre-notification consultations, compliance issues and requests for information by the PCC. The firm was also one of the first to be instructed to act in adjudication proceedings, and has previously been invited to participate in public consultations regarding the development of the legislative framework governing merger control procedures. Head of M&A Elmer Serrano regularly advises BDO Unibank, the largest bank in the country, on various competition matters.

Practice head(s):

Elmer Serrano

Other key lawyers:

Phil Ivan Chan

Key clients

Udenna Corporation

Chelsea Logistics and Infrastructure Holdings Corp

BDO Unibank, Inc.

BDO Leasing and Finance Inc.

Work highlights

  • Advised Chelsea Logistics and Infrastructure Holdings Corp and Udenna Corporation on the acquisition of Tran-Asia Shipping Lines, Inc. before the Philippine Competition Commission.
  • Advised BDO Leasing & Finance, Inc. on the divestment of its equity interests in MMPC Auto Financial Services Corporation.
  • Advised BDO Unibank, Inc. and BDO Leasing and Finance, Inc. on the competition elements of the restructuring, and eventual sale, of their leasing and finance businesses.

Puyat Jacinto & Santos Law Offices

Puyat Jacinto & Santos Law Offices assists a number of corporate clients in obtaining merger clearance for large-scale transactions. Gwen Grecia-de Vera is well respected in the area, having served as the Philippine Competition Commission's first executive director. Rachelle Diaz-Tan is another key practitioner. Joseph Omar Castillo departed in 2019 to become chairman of AirAsia.

Villaraza & Angangco (V&A Law)

Working alongside the firm's main corporate practice, Villaraza & Angangco (V&A Law)'s competition group advises national and international clients on the requirements of the PCC's merger notification regime. Sectors of particular activity include energy, shipping and manufacturing. Key practitioners Sylvette Tankiang and Franchette Acosta advise on competition as part of their broad commercial practices.

Other key lawyers:

Maria Concepcion Simundac