Court allows True-Dtac merger lawsuits

Court allows True-Dtac merger lawsuits

Court allows True-Dtac merger lawsuits

According to a court source, the Supreme Administrative Court on Monday overturned a decision from the Administrative Court of First Instance, allowing the courts to accept lawsuits brought by five customers in connection with the merger of True Corporation and Total Access Communication ( Dtac ).

The Supreme Administrative Court’s decision was based on the impact of the merger of the two mobile network providers on the public, according to the Supreme Administrative Court’s order. It was based on Section 52 of the Act on Establishment of Administrative Courts and Administrative Court Procedures, BE 2542 ( 1999 ).

According to the decision, wireless networks are regarded as a simple service for the general public. Additionally, the decision more stated that by nature, mobile providers are viewed as semi-monopoly businesses due to restrictions on the cellular frequency rate and the significant amount of investment. Turning it into a dominance affects honest competition, which adversely impacts the community, according to the court order.

The mega deal in question was announced by Norway’s Telenor, the parent of Dtac, and conglomerate Charoen Pokphand ( CP ) Group, the parent of True, at a joint press conference on Nov 22, 2021.

Consumer rights advocates were concerned about the package because it could lead to a duopoly with just two main players in the market, leading to higher service fees. However, on Oct 20, 2022, the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission ( NBTC ) accepted the merger plan.

The five customers who were identified as customers of the rivals Advanced Info Service ( AIS ) and True Move H Universal Communication ( True Move ) filed lawsuits, alleging that the merger had had a negative impact on them. The Supreme Court overturned the decision on Monday, but the Administrative Court of First Instance rejected the issue and issued the order to throw the situation over.

Earlier, Saree Ongsomwang, the Thailand Consumers Council’s (TCC ) director- standard, said the NBTC’s Oct 20, 2022 determination was against 2006’s NBTC Notification on Monopoly Protection in Media and Telecom Business and the other related regulations.

She added that the NBTC did not exercise its authority to regulate service quality, which was in violation of consumer rights, and only acknowledged the planned consolidation.