Thai telco regulator gives conditional clearance to True, DTAC merger

By Reuters and published by CNA

THAILAND’S telecommunications regulator cleared the merger of the country’s second and third largest mobile operators, True Corporation Pcl and Telenor ASA’s Total Access Communication Pcl (DTAC) with conditions.

The conditions include a price ceiling and price controls, the National Broadcasting and Telecommunication Commission (NBTC) said in a statement today (Oct. 20).

The delayed decision comes nearly a year after the deal was first announced amid concerns of the new entity reducing market competition.

Other conditions include requiring an independent verification of cost structure and service fee for at least five years. Service rates such as voice, data, messaging must be shown separately and based on average cost pricing.

The combined entity will overtake Advanced Info Service Pcl (AIS), as market leader. True and DTAC have 34 per cent and 21 per cent of mobile subscribers, respectively. AIS controls 44 per cent of the market.

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

DTAC is backed by Norwegian firm, Telenor.

Thai agri-industrial conglomerate Charoen Pokphand Group holds a 49 per cent stake in True Corp with China Mobile holding 18 per cent, True’s website shows.

Telenor and CP Group are slated to hold a third of shares each in the new entity, China Mobile with 10 per cent and the remaining listed on the stock exchange.

Rival AIS is owned by InTouch Holdings Pcl, which counts Gulf Energy Development Pcl and Singtel as its main investors.


 A woman speaks on a mobile phone as she stands next to the logo of True Corp in Bangkok on February 29, 2016. File photo: Reuters/Athit Perawongmetha and published by CNA

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