Thai Consumers Council opposes TRUE-DTAC merger, urges NBTC to disclose results of subcommittees transparently

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The ongoing deliberation by the National Broadcasting & Telecommunication Commission (NBTC) for the merger of 2 of Thailand’s leading mobile phone operators, True Corporation Plc (TRUE) and Total Access Communication Plc (DTAC), should be made more transparent by having all issues made public in order to make it transparent process, Thailand Consumers Council demanded.

As part of their efforts to get their voices heard, the network of consumers and consumer protection foundations will travel to the Office of the NBTC to submit a petition of 10,000 signatures of those who are opposed to the deal and people have been urged to sign more petition via www.change.org.

The Thailand Consumers Council event that was held yesterday under the topic that discussed the fate of consumers in an age of monopolized spectra, to create understanding of the benefits and drawbacks, while mobilizing ideas to find a way out in protecting consumers, demanded more transparency from the NBTC.

Asst Prof Pornthep Banya-aphikul, as a member of the subcommittee concerned with economics and consumer protection, said that the legal subcommittee had already voted that NBTC had the authority to consider and decide on this matter.

The demand was that due to the sheer impact on consumers, there should be more transparency and the NBTC has at times come out to say that they themselves were not empowered to decide. The Thailand Consumers Council therefore said that the contention of whether NBTC has the authority or not, should stop and there should be talks of impact to arise in the future from such merger.

Also at the seminar, it was demanded that NBTC disclose the results of studies by all four subcommittees in a transparent manner for the general public to access, which is what society wants to see, rather than secretive consider using the reports. These documents have yet to be made public.

To add to this call, Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, head of the Progressive Movement, said that he did not agree with the merger and requested the Thai people to add their voices to show their position, to let the NBTC know that there is a rising voice of not agreeing to the merger.

Sari Ongsomwang, secretary-general of the Thailand Consumers Council said that the issue of the merger between TRUE and DTAC was worrying, because if the merger was successful it would give the merged entity a market share 50%, equivalent to having power over the market, while on the issue of the merger between AIS and 3BB, Thailand Consumers Council was also ready to thoroughly investigate the deal.

Today, (3 August 2022) at 09.00 hrs., the network of consumers and consumer protection foundations will travel to the Office of the NBTC to submit a petition of 10,000 signatures to the NBTC board. Anybody who does not agree with this merger is asked to sign at www.Change.org.

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