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WEDNESDAY, September 28, 2022
NBTC defers decision on True-DTAC merger, seeks more info

NBTC defers decision on True-DTAC merger, seeks more info

WEDNESDAY, August 03, 2022

The five members of the board of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission on Wednesday unanimously decided to defer a decision on the merger of two giant telecom operators.

Trairat Viriyasirikul, acting NBTC secretary-general, said the five commissioners said they would need more information before making a decision on measures to prevent monopolistic or unfair trade practices following the merger of True Corporation and Total Access Communication Plc (DTAC).

Trairat said the NBTC on Wednesday considered the request for the merger by the second and third-largest mobile phone operators in terms of number of customers.

He said the five commissioners on Wednesday considered five categories of information:

- Studies by four subcommittees on the merger deal

- Results of public hearings of three focus groups

- A report on possible economic impact from the merger from the NBTC Office

- A study by Chulalongkorn University on the impact of the merger

- Opinion from an independent adviser, Finansa Securities Ltd.

After studying the information presented on Wednesday, Trairat said the five commissioners found the presented information inadequate and not comprehensive enough to design measures to protect consumers and to prevent possible damage to the telecom industry.

Trairat said the commissioners have asked the NBTC Office to come up analyses of six aspects:

- Business structure of the merger deal, all licences that True and DTAC have, and the licences which will be controlled by the new company

- Possible impact on management and businesses as well as competitions by holders of telecom licences to be controlled by the new company

- Analyse cost savings from the new economies of scale following the merger and how to translate the saved money into benefits for consumers

- Analyse ownership of telecom bandwidth by the new company to see whether it would have an advantage in the market

- Analyse possible measures for reducing airtime prices and to maintain service quality to reduce impact on consumers in the short, medium and long term

- Analyse measures for promoting mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) and to propose measures for revising regulations so that MVNO services would have higher competitiveness and become an alternative operator for consumers.