Court rules NBTC 2018 regulation lawful, True-Dtac merger can go ahead
The Administrative Court has dismissed a petition against the 2018 National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) regulation allowing mergers to take place without seeking the regulator’s approval, a source revealed on Monday.
The petition was filed by Napat Winitchaikul, a member of the “superboard” monitoring the performance of NBTC, in a bid to seek a court injunction against the planned merger of True Corporation and Total Access Communication (Dtac).
Napat’s claim was that the merger would result in a monopoly and cause unrecoverable damage to the country’s telecom industry.
NBTC has been struggling with whether or not to intervene in the merger, as its 2006 anti-monopoly directive stipulates that mergers must be approved by the regulator, while the 2018 regulation enforced later contradicts this.
The source said the court ruled on June 16 that the enforcement of NBTC’s 2018 regulation was lawful and that the deal would not cause unrecoverable damage to the telecom sector as True and Dtac will create a new juristic entity to supervise the merged business.
Napat’s petition was hence dismissed and since the court’s decision is final, it cannot be repealed
The NBTC superboard had said earlier that Napat was filing the petition on his own and not under the panel’s order. The board also said Napat had not brought this issue up in any of the committee’s meetings.