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Thailand Approves Advanced Info Service Takeover of Triple T Broadband with Consumer Safeguards

 |  November 12, 2023

Thailand’s National Broadcasting and Telecommunication Commission (NBTC) has given the green light to the acquisition of Triple T Broadband Pcl by Advanced Info Service (AIS), the country’s largest mobile phone operator. The approval, granted on Friday evening, comes with a set of safeguards aimed at protecting consumers and ensuring fair competition in the telecommunications market.

The NBTC board, in a majority vote, endorsed the deal and issued specific requirements to safeguard consumer interests. Among the mandated conditions, AIS is obligated to maintain the lowest-priced pre-merger package, ensuring affordability for consumers. Additionally, the telecommunications giant is bound to uphold service quality and price packages for a period of five years from the date of consolidation.

In a move to maintain fair competition and prevent monopolistic practices, AIS is required to adhere to “net neutrality” principles. This means the company must refrain from providing differentiated service quality and allow other internet broadband service providers to rent the network for open access.

As of September 30, Advanced Info Service boasted an impressive customer base with 44.4 million mobile subscribers and 2.38 million broadband users. This acquisition further solidifies AIS’s position in the market and presents opportunities for enhanced services.

The decision faced opposition from the Move Forward Party, which raised concerns about the potential consolidation of market power. Citing the previous merger of True Corporation and Total Access Communication, the party argued that around 80% of Thailand’s internet market share would be controlled by just two operators. The Move Forward Party expressed apprehension that such consolidation could lead to higher prices and lower service quality for consumers.

Source: Bnn Bloomberg