PCC slaps fine on Urban Deca condo for imposing exclusive internet deal

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The Philippine Competition Commission has slapped a ₱27.11-million fine on Urban Deca condominium for limiting residents to an exclusive internet service provider owned by its parent firm.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 2) — The Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) imposed a ₱27.11-million fine on the firm running the Urban Deca chain of condominiums for limiting the internet subscription of residents to one service provider.

The watchdog said the Urban Deca Homes Manila Condominium Corporation is liable for “abuse of dominance” as it gave no other choice for property owners to avail themselves of internet services.

The PCC said property developer 8990 Holdings, Inc. imposed an exclusive deal with its in-house service provider, Fiber to Deca Homes (FTDH), for nine projects nationwide. FTDH is owned and run by 8990 Holdings, which provides home internet and cable TV for its housing projects in the country.

The PCC also ordered Urban Deca to immediately stop the exclusive internet deal and to pay the fine within 30 days from its imposition. The regulator will also monitor the mass housing developer and Urban Deco for compliance.

The PCC dubbed this as a “landmark” ruling, saying the case should deter other businesses from doing the same strategy.

“Competition—or lack of it—can be felt at home, at work, and in one’s daily activities. The residents may have chosen Urban Deca as their address, but the condo developer should not limit the choices of residents for other services,” PCC Chairman Arsenio Balisacan said in a statement on Wednesday.

The case stemmed from a complaint lodged by residents of Urban Deca Manila in Tondo, who reported that they were prohibited from availing of the services of other companies even if the services of Fiber to Deca Homes were said to be “slow, expensive, and unreliable.”

The PCC’s ruling extends to Urban Deca’s eight other properties in Mandaluyong, Muntinlupa, Bulacan, Cavite, Iloilo, and Cebu.