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FRIDAY, December 02, 2022
AWN objects to True-Dtac merger, says new firm will violate many laws

AWN objects to True-Dtac merger, says new firm will violate many laws

TUESDAY, April 05, 2022

Advanced Wireless Network Co Ltd (AWN) has filed a formal objection against the planned amalgamation of True Corporation and Total Access Communication (Dtac).

AWN, a subsidiary of Advanced Info Service (AIS), submitted a letter dated March 25 to the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) recently to express its opposition.

In the letter, AWN said that if the two telecom operators were allowed to merge, mobile phone users in Thailand would be the biggest losers as the merger would affect competition.

It pointed out that the number of key players in the telecoms market would be reduced from three to two, and the new company would dominate with a market share of 53.4 per cent.

It said the merger would also effectively block new players from entering the market.

The letter pointed out that National Telecommunication Plc, created via the merger of TAT Corporation Plc and CAT Telecom Plc, had very little market share to counter the giant that will be created by the True-Dtac merger.

AWN said in the letter that the merger would also put all telecom bandwidths under the new company, which will be in gross violation of the telecom law, under which bandwidths are to be spread among several operators. Once the merger goes through, the new company will hold more bandwidth than allowed by law.

The letter noted that the NBTC is required by the Constitution and NBTC Act to vote against the merger to prevent monopoly and market domination as it would hurt consumers. It said the charter and the NBTC law require the commission to act against the merger to protect the public interest.

Separately, shareholders of the two companies on Monday voted in favour of the merger. According to a report submitted to the Stock Exchange of Thailand on Monday, some 99.37 per cent of True’s shareholders and 89 per cent of Dtac’s shareholders had voted for the merger.

Meanwhile, Dtac CEO Sharad Mehrotra thanked shareholders for the “yes” votes and said the new technology-telecom firm formed after the merger will provide top 5G services that will cover everybody’s needs with reliable and fast service.

Mehrotra added that the new company will not just provide 5G services, but will also be a corporation providing advanced technology such as AI, Cloud, Smart City, media solutions and space technology.