Philippine Competition Commission approves Jack Ma's Globe Fintech acquisition

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 30) — The Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) gave the green light for Alipay Singapore Holding Pte. to acquire 45 percent of  the start-up Globe Fintech Innovations, Inc.

Alipay is a unit of Ant Financial Group, a digital financial service provider owned by Chinese tycoon Jack Ma. Ma is the founder and chairman of the e-commerce business giant Alibaba Group.

Globe Fintech, also known as Mynt, handles the micropayment service G-Cash through G-Xchange, Inc. The service allows financial transcations through electronic money.

"Electronic money is increasingly becoming a preferred mode of payment for the unbanked consumers, and we wanted to protect competition in this niche market," the PCC said in a statement.

According to its website, the PCC is a quasi-judicial body that maintains fair and healthy market competition toward protecting consumers.

The agency evaluated that Globe Fintech has "no increased ability nor incentive... to block entry or expansion of other players in the market after the acquisition." It also said that other payment options, such as paying in cash, can limit the market power Globe Fintech has.

"Since this market is still evolving, there is scope for more players to enter the industry, domestic or foreign. Therefore, the competition in this market is expected to remain robust," PCC added.

Globe Venture holds 45 percent while Ayala has 10 percent of the issued and outstanding share capital of Globe Fintech, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Globe Telecom, Inc.