British International School, Phuket
333 at the beach British International School, Phuket Pro Property Partners
The Phuket News Novosti Phuket Khao Phuket

Login | Create Account | Search


Regulator paves way for telecom mega-merger

Regulator paves way for telecom mega-merger

BANGKOK: The national telecommunications regulator has cleared the way for the country’s second and third largest mobile operators ‒ True Corp and Total Access Communication (DTAC) ‒ to merge, but with conditions.

economicstechnology
By Bangkok Post

Friday 21 October 2022, 12:24PM


Progressive Movement chairman Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit joins consumer advocates who rallied to demand that the NBTC reject the merged deal between True Corp and DTAC at the head office of the telecom regulator on Thursday (Oct 20). Photo: Apichart Jinakul / Bangkok Post

Progressive Movement chairman Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit joins consumer advocates who rallied to demand that the NBTC reject the merged deal between True Corp and DTAC at the head office of the telecom regulator on Thursday (Oct 20). Photo: Apichart Jinakul / Bangkok Post

The conditions include a price ceiling and price controls, the National Broadcasting and Telecommunication Commission (NBTC) said in a statement on Thursday (Oct 20), reports the Bangkok Post.

The long-awaited decision comes nearly a year after the deal was first announced amid concerns about reduced market competition.

The merger would leave the country with only two operators: the merged entity and the current market leader, Advanced Info Service (AIS).

Other conditions reportedly include requiring independent verification of the operators’ cost structure and service fees for at least five years. Service rates such as voice, data and messaging must be shown separately and based on average-cost pricing, the NBTC said.

The combined entity will overtake AIS as the market leader. True and DTAC currently have 34% and 21% of the country’s mobile subscribers, respectively. AIS controls 44% of the market.

True, DTAC and AIS did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

DTAC is backed by the Norwegian firm Telenor. The Thai agri-industrial conglomerate Charoen Pokphand Group holds a 49% stake in True Corp with China Mobile holding 18%.

AXA Insurance PCL

Telenor and CP Group are slated to hold a third of the shares each in the new merged entity, China Mobile would have 10% and the remaining shares would be listed on the stock exchange.

The NBTC had agonised for months over whether it had the legal authority to approve or reject a merger of two telecom operators, and the possible legal liability it could face depending on how it proceeded.

After a meeting that lasted more than 10 hours on Thursday, its five-member board simply “acknowledged”, reportedly by a vote of 3-2, the intention of True and DTAC to merge, while stipulating conditions in the name of “consumer protection”.

The office of the NBTC has reportedly proposed 14 remedy measures to the board for consideration, including prohibiting the merger of True Move H Universal Communication (TUC), a mobile business arm of True, and dtac TriNet (DTN), a mobile service unit of DTAC, for three years.

TUC and DTAC would also face a ban on frequency sharing for three years.

In addition, TUC and DTN could be forced to allot 20% of their mobile network capacities for rental to mobile virtual network operators.

However, full details on all of the conditions agreed on by the board were not immediately available.

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

* (Not Hotmail/Outlook)
CAPTCHA

Old guy | 22 October 2022 - 18:10:34

It is criminal to all TRUE & DTAC to merge. The new company will make so much money that the tea money paid to ignore the fake "SAFEGUARDS" will just be a minor cost. The citizens of Thailand will pay dearly. 

 

Have a news tip-off? Click here

 

Phuket community
Phuket Opinion: Putting Phuket on show

The proposal says: The city is also renowned for its word-class wellness and medical tourism, and is...(Read More)


Koh Siray targetted over deluge of trash

Timothy, please do not exaggerate. I am only Medium-so. ...(Read More)


‘Lessons learned’ from airport chaos

Timothy I’m not aware that Kurt missed any flight. And I think he might take offense to you referr...(Read More)


Over 3000 flights to land in Phuket in December as tourism rebounds

Yesterday is always forgotten. Period. And what they learn today they forget tomorrow as well. As si...(Read More)


Phuket Opinion: Putting Phuket on show

Not even able to keep the most crucial Phuket key roads in sustainable condition, as we all over Phu...(Read More)


Phuket Opinion: Putting Phuket on show

"Presentation solely focussed on 'glorified' benefits of sustainability, harmony, prosp...(Read More)


‘Lessons learned’ from airport chaos

ematt, I'm sure you would have been unhappy about this too if you missed your international conn...(Read More)


Over 3000 flights to land in Phuket in December as tourism rebounds

Anyway, the number of Phuket flight arrivals/departures are spiking. And just during that period of ...(Read More)


Koh Siray targetted over deluge of trash

Oh Ematt....that is a very funny comment, coming from you. On many occasions you have called people ...(Read More)


Tourists urged to contact police in case of Phuket taxi deviations

Fascinated, yes, you have a point. However, tourists have not always any idea of Phuket topograhy, b...(Read More)