TOT sues operators on access fees

11 Jun 2007
00:00

(The Nation via NewsEdge) TOT has decided to sue DTAC and True Move over the access charge dispute with the two companies, TOT acting president Vuthiphong Priebjrivat said.

The decision comes just days after DTAC announced it was listing on the local stock exchange and would hold an IPO on June 22.

Vuthiphong explained TOT could not sue the two companies directly. It will file complaints against CAT, which owns the companies' cellular concession rights.

TOT will name the CAT dispute-resolution committee, including representatives of the Prime Minister's Office and the Office of the Attorney-General, in the complaint.

That committee will then recommend CAT bring the action against DTAC and True Move. The action is likely to be filed in the civil court.

DTAC, True Move and Digital Phone paid access charges to TOT every time one of their customers called a subscriber on a different network.

DTAC and True Move ceased paying the charges last November. According to TOT, the total of unpaid charges is now 7.5 billion baht ($229 million).

Vuthiphong declined to reveal how much the action would seek in damages.

DTAC and True Move adopted the National Telecommunications Commission interconnection charge instead of the access charge. It requires telecom operators to share voice and data revenue between the two networks involved in a call.

DTAC chief commercial officer Thana Tienachariya said the lawsuit was unlikely to affect the company's share offering. The risk has been outlined in its prospectus.

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