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True-Dtac merger challenged at court

Dtac true bangkok one MArch 30 2024

The Supreme Administrative Court has instructed the lower Administrative Court to reconsider a request from five consumers to invalidate the telecom regulator’s approval of the merger between CP Group’s True and Telenor’s DTAC.

Key Points

  • The Supreme Administrative Court has directed the lower court to review a petition seeking to annul the telecom regulator’s endorsement of the merger between CP Group’s True and Telenor’s DTAC, even though the submission was beyond the allowed deadline.
  • Submitted by a group of consumers, the petition argues that the merger could result in increased service fees, decreased competition in the telecom sector, and potential market dominance in the future.
  • Stressing the importance of maintaining a competitive and fair telecom industry for public welfare, the Supreme Administrative Court underlined the possible adverse effects on consumers.
  • Despite the delayed submission, the Supreme Administrative Court ruled in favor of accepting the case, acknowledging its significance in protecting public interests. The consumers’ main concern is the potential escalation of service charges, reduced telecom market players, and the risk of market control post-merger.

The Supreme Administrative Court concurred, expressing concerns that the merger could harm fair competition and consumer welfare given the limited competition in the telecom market.

In Thailand’s telecommunications industry, AIS, True Corporation, and DTAC enjoy substantial market dominance, forming an oligopoly that leans towards monopoly following True’s acquisition of DTAC last year. These companies wield considerable control over mobile and internet services in the nation, giving them significant leverage over pricing and service provisions.

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