TRDI thinks True vs DTAC suit bound for failure

Melissa Chua
30 Jun 2011

A Thailand think tank believes True’s move to get rival DTAC censured for flouting foreign ownership laws will fail.

Deunden Nikomborirak, director at the Thailand Development Research Institute (TRDI) believes the many loopholes in the country’s foreign business act make True’s suit unlikely to yield concrete judgment.

Nikomborirak told the Bangkok Post that foreign ownership rules should be relaxed so the firms could form strategic international alliances.

Laws in Thailand dictate no more than 49% of a firm operating in the country should be foreign-held.

Nikomborirak warned of a monopoly by third-placed True should foreign ownership rules be enforced to the point that DTAC and market leader AIS exit the market.

DTAC is owned by Norwegian firm Telenor while Singapore’s Temasek Holdings controls AIS.

Nikomborirak added the TRDI would bank any amendments to the law for the benefit of the telecom industry.

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