NBTC to sue TrueMove, AIS for profit owed

16 Sep 2016

Thailand’s telecoms regulator is in a race against time to sue TrueMove and AIS for profit owed during the final days of the 2G concession.

The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission telecoms sub-board has recommended the full board sue TrueMove and DPC (an AIS subsidiary) for $30.6 million (1069.98 million baht) and $17.9 million (627.64 million baht) for all profit during the so-called consumer protection phase of their 2G concessions.

The non-extendable concessions expired in 2013 but were extended to protect consumers until March this year, under the condition that all profit be returned to the state, not just the 30% revenue share under concession terms.

Previously the NBTC had decided only to sue TrueMove, but because of a fear that they may be viewed as biased, the board this week issued a new recommendation to the full board to sue both True and DPC (AIS).

The lawsuit must be filed before September 18 as it is when the statute of limitations expires.

Elsewhere the NBTC is to set up a committee to investigate a data breach by AIS which involved an AIS employee leaking customer information and call logs. The matter made a big splash on social media earlier this week and AIS responded by firing their staff responsible.

However, NBTC Secretary-General Takorn Tantasit said that AIS might face a maximum penalty of cancellation of its license due to the breach, and executives may be jailed up to two years.

The committee will convene for the first time on 19 September.

Elsewhere as expected, Thailand has transformed its ICT Ministry into the new Digital Ministry for Society and Economy.

The DMSE act also sets up what is colloquially called the Digital Economy Commission, though now formally it is, strictly translated, the Office of the Digital Commission for Society and the Economy which will be chaired by the Prime Minister.

A number of bureaus that used report to the ICT Ministry’s Permanent Secretary are now to report to the DE Commission - Space Affairs Bureau, ICT Promotion Bureau, e-Government Promotion Bureau and ICT Industry Promotion Bureau.

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