NBTC restores its anti-monopoly rule to deal with True-Dtac merger
The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) voted 3-2 to confirm its authority in blocking a planned merger of True Corporation and Total Access Communication (Dtac) if it is deemed as a monopoly, a source disclosed on Friday.
The NBTC source said the commissioners resolved on Wednesday to notify the Administrative Court that the 2006 anti-monopoly directive and the 2018 NBTC regulation on business mergers empower the regulator to stop the merger from creating a monopoly or unfair competition in the telecom sector.
The 2006 directive, issued by NBTC’s precursor National Telecommunications Commission, requires merger deals to be approved by the regulator. However, the authority was abrogated by the NBTC’s 2018 regulation, which allows businesses wishing to merge to only notify the regulator, not seek its approval.
According to the source, the NBTC commissioners’ decision at their meeting on Wednesday reinstated the 2006 anti-monopoly directive.
However, NBTC president Sarana Boonbaichaiyapruck said on Friday that the executive board has yet to make a decision on the matter.
The NBTC move came after Napat Winitchaikul, a member of the committee or “superboard” monitoring the NBTC's work performance, petitioned the Administrative Court, seeking an injunction against enforcement of the NBTC’s 2018 regulation.
In his petition, Napat argued that the 2018 regulation was unlawful and went against relevant laws, including the 2006 anti-monopoly directive.