11 July 2024

The Thailand Consumer Council (TCC) and the opposition Move Forward Party will petition the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC), seeking an investigation into the conduct of the 5-member board of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) over its decision, by a majority vote on Friday, to “acknowledge” the merger between True Corporation and Total Access Communications (DTAC), but with strings attached.

TCC Secretary-General Saree Aongsomwang said yesterday (Friday) that TCC will also ask the Administrative Court to issue an injunction to put the NBTC board’s decision on hold which, she added, is final.

The 5-member board was evenly split on the merger plan with one abstention, claiming unclear legal interpretations. According to the NBTC rules, however, the board chairman has the authority to cast a deciding vote to end an impasse. Hence, the final vote was 3:2 in favour of the plan.

NBTC board member explains why she opposes True-DTAC merger

Deputy leader of the Move Forward Party and a party-list MP, Sirikanya Tansakul, said yesterday that she does not think there was a majority vote to “acknowledge” the True-DTAC merger plan, because the board chairman cast his vote twice, adding that the merger issue is not a special case which would have empowered the board chairman to cast the deciding vote.

She also noted that the board’s conclusion that True and DTAC are not engaged in similar businesses does not reflect reality and defies public perception of the two mobile phone service providers.

The Move Forward Party, said Sirikanya, will ask the NACC to probe the conduct of the board which, she claims, amounts to an abuse of authority.

The party will also join Thailand Consumer Council in taking the case to the Administrative Court, to seek an injunction to put on hold the merger plan.

An executive of True Corporation, Chakkrit Urairat, said yesterday that the company is waiting for a formal decision from the NBTC, adding that an official statement will be issued by the company next week.