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PH media giants ABS-CBN, TV5 pause historic deal following lawmaker concerns

PH media giants ABS-CBN, TV5 pause historic deal following lawmaker concerns
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Manila, Philippines – The previously-announced historic partnership between ABS-CBN and TV5 has been paused by both companies following concerns raised by regulators and lawmakers alike.

In a joint statement, ABS-CBN and TV5 said that the pause will give the space for both media organisations to respond to the issues, and accommodate any relevant changes to the terms.

“Both ABS-CBN and TV5 believe that an agreement between the two media companies will have a favourable impact on Philippine media, and on free-to-air television—which remains the most affordable and extensive source of entertainment and public service to Filipinos,” both companies stated.

Through the previously announced partnership, ABS-CBN Corp will acquire 6,459,393 primary (new) common shares in TV5, representing around 34.99% of the total voting and outstanding capital stock of TV5 for PHP2.16b.

In addition, cable and satellite TV subsidiaries of ABS-CBN and PLDT also entered into a similar deal. Cignal Cable Corp, under MediaQuest, said it was acquiring 38.88% of Sky Cable Corp, under ABS-CBN, for PHP2.862b.

In a report by Inquirer, National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) Commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba said that Congress should look into the previous allegations brought to ABS-CBN and its holding company Lopez Holdings during the 2020 Congress session on the media giant’s franchise, including tax payments and foreign ownership that ABS-CBN had refuted before.

In addition, Sagip party list lawmaker Rodante Marcoleta, who was one of the primary Congress members that forced ABS-CBN out of air in 2020, delivered a privilege speech against the deal. This was then followed by three members of the House of Representatives filing separate resolutions to investigate the deal.

ABS-CBN has been forced off-air in 2020 after failing to renew its franchise and heavy scrutiny from Congress over alleged foreign ownership of the media giant.

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