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SATURDAY, September 23, 2023

Embattled telecoms regulator to issue rules governing True-Dtac merger on Oct 12

Embattled telecoms regulator to issue rules governing True-Dtac merger on Oct 12
FRIDAY, September 23, 2022

The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) will issue measures governing the merger between True Corporation and Total Access Communication (Dtac) on October 12.

The move comes after the Council of State ruled on Tuesday that the NBTC has no authority to approve or reject the merger but could only issue regulations to mitigate its impact on the public.

However, the Thailand Consumers Council (TCC) said it had the right to sue the NBTC if the regulator allows the two telecom giants to merge resulting in damage to consumers. The TCC is concerned that the merger deal will bring market domination followed by higher prices.

TCC secretary-general Saree Ongsomwang also urged the NBTC to conduct a public hearing on its merger conditions, saying they may be too weak.

Separately, True minority shareholders have filed a lawsuit against the NBTC at the Central Criminal Court for Corruption and Misconduct Cases, accusing the regulator of illegally delaying the merger deal.

Lawyer for the shareholders Phetai Wattanasiri said the court is due to rule on whether it will accept the lawsuit on October 26. Phetai claims that no progress has been made since January 25, when True and Dtac submitted the merger request to the NBTC, even though the regulator can set up specific measures governing the deal.

He said shareholders also want compensation for losing the chance to purchase shares of Citrine Global and Citrine Venture SG under the merger deal.

“As of March 14, more than 80,000 True minority shareholders have suffered over 160 billion baht in damages due to a delay in the merger deal consideration,” he said.