Three of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission's (NBTC) five board members are reportedly considering strict enforcement measures to oversee the merger of True Corporation and Total Access Communication (DTAC). It is anticipated that the NBTC would adopt measures to oversee the telecom mega deal at its meeting on Thursday.
To Protect Against Any Section 157 Legal Repercussions, the Acquisition Should Go Forward
The source, who asked to remain anonymous to Bangkok Post, claimed that the board would probably clarify its powers before the meeting to determine whether it has the power to discuss accepting or rejecting the merger. The board will probably finally approve the transaction, but the majority of board members will argue for strict regulations to control it, according to the person.
The individual told the Bangkok Post that it is safer to approve the transaction than to risk potential legal repercussions under Section 157 of the Criminal Code, which deals with misbehaviour. Minority shareholders in True have previously filed a complaint under this Section against the NBTC on the grounds that the operator and the broader market are being harmed by the merger process' delays.
The board would be able to set stringent conditions on the sale that could only be petitioned through the Administrative Court if the deal were approved, avoiding the potential for backlash under Section 157. Currently, 14 rules have been proposed by the NBTC office to govern the deal, but some commissioners are said to have rejected these as being too lax.
The present design conditions forbid a merger between TUC (True Move H Universal Communication) and DTN (dtac TriNet), the merging parties, within three years of the initial merger. The mobile arms will also be prohibited from sharing spectrum during this time and required to reserve 20% of their total network capacity for MVNOs. A source for The Bangkok Post predicted that this week's board meeting might result in the permanent extension of the three-year embargo. The merger between True and dtac was first announced in November 2021, but since then, the agreement has seen numerous obstacles. According to CommsUpdate, the combined company will be valued at about $8.6 billion if the deal goes through.