"Impeaching Corona Not Far Behind"
by Emil Jurado
09 December 2011, To The Point, MANILA STANDARD
(Original article here).
Some businessmen friends recently asked me about the statute of the much ballyhooed proposal for an Anti-Trust Law that would finally give teeth to Article 186 of the Revised Penal Code. This refers to prohibition from entering into or being a party to any contract or agreement, or from taking part in any conspiracy or combination in restraint of trade or commerce for the purpose of preventing by artificial means, free competition.
As far as I can recall, the move to have such a law introduced received a boost last August when five top officers of the giant multinational Nestle Philippines Inc. were indicted for violation of Article 186 of the Revised Penal Code. The charges were an offshoot of complaints against Nestle by two of its distributors, Service Edge Distributors Inc. and FDI Forefront 2 Trading Corporation.
The Filipino firms alleged that Nestle engaged in predatory pricing, imposition of inflexible price bulletins that resulted in luge losses to the distributors, unilateral withdrawal of promised marketing support, violation of the terms and eventual termination of the distribution agreement, perjury and offering false testimony in evidence.
I suppose that hearings of the charges against Nestle officials have been scheduled at the Quezon City Regional Trial Court. Resolution of this matter will have an important bearing on the perceived overhearing conduct of multinational firms towards not only their competitors, but even to their own distributors, who are in fact their business partners. Interestingly enough, during the recently concluded Philippine Advertising Congress in Camarines Sur, Nestle Philippines was adjudged Employer of the Year. Well, the company certainly will not win an award of any kind from its distributors who feel they have been wronged.