Friday, June 22, 2012

ABS-CBN unthreatened by 'GMA7- TV5 Merger'

MANILA, Philippines - Media giant ABS-CBN Corp. is not threatened by the possible merger of its rivals GMA Network Inc. and Associated Broadcasting Company (ABC), operator of TV5.

Eugenio L. Lopez III, chairman and chief executive officer of ABS-CBN, said he does not think a possible GMA7-TV5 merger would change the landscape of the industry.

"It doesn't change what we have to do. We're very focused on our own strategy. The number of channels that we have to compete against remains the same. As far as we're concerned, we just have to execute and we'll be okay," he said, in a press conference after the company's stockholder's meeting.

Business tycoon Manuel V. Pangilinan, who owns ABC, earlier said a deal to invest in GMA Network Inc. may be finalized within the year. The move is widely expected to result in the merger of the 2 networks, which will compete directly against ABS-CBN.

"Combining channels, programs is not going to lead to giving you an inordinate structural advantage. We are competing not only against channels but internet, hundreds of channels. It makes no difference to me if there's one owner or a hundred owners, we're still competing against all of them. That will not change regardless of what the equity structure is of those companies," Lopez said.
When asked if he believes the GMA7-TV5 deal would constitute a monopoly, Lopez said this would be an issue for the government to decide.

Lopez also emphasized that ABS-CBN is "not for sale," amid recent reports that San Miguel Corp. President Ramon Ang is interested in investing in the Philippine broadcasting industry.

Asked if anyone has approached the company, Lopez said: "I think my body language is very clear on that. I don't think anyone is approaching us."

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