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Philippines: Antitrust watchdog wants dawn raids without writ

 |  January 5, 2020

The Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) wants Congress to empower it to conduct dawn raids without a court order, as it bolsters its probe of dishonest or fraudulent rivalry in trade and commerce, according to Business World.

Dawn raids, surprise inspections at business premises to search for evidence of anti-competitive behavior, are expected to improve the agency’s case-building and increase the number of cartel prosecutions, PCC Chairman Arsenio M. Balisacan said in a report released on Friday, January 3.

The Supreme Court upheld the competition body’s inspection powers in November, allowing it to conduct dawn raids through orders issued by special commercial courts in the cities of Quezon, Manila, Makati, Pasig, Cebu, Iloilo, Davao, and Cagayan De Oro.

Antitrust bodies in some countries are not required to get a court order and only have to secure an inspection decision from the competition authority. Of the 28 European Union member States, half require a court warrant before business premises can be inspected.

Mr. Balisacan said they would also like to raise the fines on erring companies and reinforce the PCC’s “primary, original, and exclusive jurisdiction over all competition cases.”

The PCC stated it might also seek to expand its mandate into consumer protection because it complements its work in competition cases.

Full Content: B World Online

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