THURSDAY, February 29, 2024

House panel questions True, DTAC; seeks more clarity on merger deal

House panel questions True, DTAC; seeks more clarity on merger deal

A House of Representatives body looking into the controversial proposed merger between telecom giants True Corporation and Total Access Communication (DTAC) met officials from the two companies on Wednesday to seek clarifications.

True and DTAC were asked about various aspects of their deal, such as reasons for merger, guidelines, laws and impacts on consumers, the commission chairman, Anudith Nakornthap, said.

He added that True and DTAC were also to clarify some issues later so that the commission could study the impact of the deal in the future.

"The commission is still curious about the real intention of this merger deal, as it is still unclear, especially the change in technology, new services which will not affect consumers and the impact of cost reduction on service quality and competitiveness," he said.

"Meanwhile, we want to know about the steps the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission [NBTC] will take to assure consumers that the merger will not have any impact on them and they will receive good quality service at a reasonable price."

He said the commission will summon the NBTC to discuss the issue next week before concluding all information to propose to related agencies for consideration.

Anudith said the NBTC must ensure that the merger will be in line with laws, while it can launch measures to ensure improvement in service at a reasonable price.

"We believe that the merger can be done in line with laws, but we should focus on the process before and after the merger, on how it impacts the people and the telecommunication market," he said, adding that the commission will report to the House of Representatives later.

Anudith said the business could not survive if the merger deal cannot be done, especially with the arrival of Over-The-Top (OTT) services from abroad, citing remarks by True and DTAC.

"Both mobile operators claimed that the merger deal is a solution to reduce fixed costs, as OTT service will increase network traffic and data usage, while metaverse would impose high operation costs on them," he said.

"Meanwhile, AIS said the coming of OTT services is a challenge that global telecommunication must face, adding that it is necessary to see the merger result."

He said the commission is paying attention to laws, improvement in services and reasonable price, so the NBTC and related agencies must supervise the issue to ensure there is no market domination or technology concentration.

He added that the NBTC and Trade Competition Commission must supervise this issue.