Regulating foreign monopolies

. . . is the topic of my latest Trade Tripper column in this Friday-Saturday issue of BusinessWorld. Excerpt:

"Competition policy, in its simplest form, primarily deals with the state of competition internally, that is, with regard to the state of competition within a country’s borders. However, what Philippine policymakers and lawmakers should consciously focus on, considering the present economic situation, is competition policy viewed from an international perspective, particularly when monopolies or cartels reach across borders and where price-fixing is done not within a single country but in a number of such. This is a highly complex but profoundly significant matter that needs to be recognized. Our problem is not the huge and competitive Philippine company that is really doing well. The probability that the concept of "natural monopolies," considering the small size of our domestic market, is applicable is with merit. If anything, therefore, Filipinos should perhaps be supportive of an even larger Filipino conglomerate. A San Miguel Corporation, for example, despite its size and reach, could not really be considered as possessing monopoly power due to the nature and threat presented by its external (i.e., foreign) competition."