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  • DTAC and True Merger

    Telecom regulators to look into the planned merger of DTAC and True

    Following Friday’s announcement from two of the largest mobile phone network service providers in Thailand, DTAC and True, on their plans to merge operations, the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission is calling on the companies to discuss the business plans which would likely change the telecom industry and dominate the market. DTAC’s parent company, Norway’s Telenor group, is meeting with True’s parent company, Charoen Pokphand Group, to discuss plans to merge the two subsidiaries.

    The telecom regulators will meet with DTAC representatives today, and with True officials tomorrow, a source told the Bangkok Post. The two mobile companies will have to notify the NBTC 90 days before their merger is agreed, according to Thailand’s rules and regulations. In a statement to the media, Telenor said…

    “There are still unresolved concerns, and there is no guarantee that the conversations will lead to a final agreement.”
    True’s chief financial officer, Yupa Leewongcharoen, informed the Stock Exchange of Thailand, or SET, that if any clarification is required, the company will notify the SET.

    According to Refinitiv Eikon statistics, DTAC is worth roughly US$3 Billion (about 98 Billion THB and True is worth around US$4.5 Billion. While True has 32 million total mobile subscribers, DTAC has 19.3 million. The competitor, Advanced Info Service, known as AIS, has 43.7 million subscribers, making it Thailand’s largest mobile operator.

    The two companies are likely to form a joint venture based on a share swap arrangement as True is owned by CP to the tune of 50% and China Mobile to the tune of 18% and Telenor owns a 65% stake in DTAC.

  • #2
    true-dtac merger will increase mobile tariffs by 240%, warns watchdog
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    In a controversial move, Thailand’s telecom regulator has approved the merging of two key mobile operators in Thailand: true and dtac. A consumer watchdog says the five-member committee “failed to use its authority to protect the public interest” by turning the market into a duopoly with reigning operator AIS. After an 11-hour meeting, the five-member board of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) voted 3:5 to “acknowledge” the merger, despite fierce opposition from consumer groups, politicians, industry experts, and competitors.

    The decision will leave Thailand with only two key operators, the merger and AIS, sparking concerns that it will undermine market competition and lead to higher prices for consumers. The Thailand Consumers Council (TCC), a consumer watchdog, expects that the merger would raise mobile tariffs for customers by 240%. The TCC said they are preparing to file a motion with the Central Administrative Court to launch an injunction and emergency investigation to stop the merger in its tracks. The NBTC approved the merger despite a Change.org petition against it gaining over 21,000 signatures. The petition was backed by politicians from the Move Forward Party. Despite fears that the merger will be bad news for consumers, the NBTC insists that it was approved under many conditions including price ceilings.

    true and dtac say the goal of the merger is not to raise prices but to “invest jointly in the country’s digital transformation.” Under conditions set by the NBTC, the new US$7.3 billion company will be required to install a 5G network to cover 75% of Thailand’s population within three years and 90% within five years, said the NBTC. Secretary-General of the TCC Saree Aongsomwang said…

    “If the merger goes through, maybe the law should be reformed to open the market to foreign players.”

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