On 27 June 2017, the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) announced that it was conducting a phase II review into the proposed investment by Alipay Singapore Holding Pte. Ltd. (Alipay) and Ayala Corporation (Ayala) into Philippine-incorporated Globe Fintech Innovations, Inc. (Globe) (the Transaction). This announcement generated a significant amount of interest as, although there have been a number of phase I reviews, this was the first time that the PCC had conducted a phase II review since the Philippine merger control regime began back in June 2016. As well as the PCC’s stance on merger control in the Philippines generally, the outcome of the review was seen as a test of the PCC’s appetite for developing a competitive non-bank electronic money market in the Philippines (the Electronic Money Market).
On 23 August 2017, the PCC released its decision, which provided that the Transaction did not result in a substantial lessening of competition in the Electronic Money Market. Below, we look at the Transaction in more detail and the implications for both potential and current investors in the Philippines.
Globe provides fintech solutions to both consumers and corporates and has interests in a micro-payment service (Gcash) and a mobile loan service (Fuse Lending). It is wholly owned by Globe Capital Venture Holdings, Inc. (Globe Venture), which is, in turn, wholly owned by Globe Telecom, Inc. (Globe Telecom), a telecommunications company in the Philippines offering mobile and fixed-line telecommunications services, broadband, data connections, internet and managed services.