True acts to take DTAC offline

Melissa Chua
28 Apr 2011

Thailand’s True has hit back at rival DTAC with court action seeking to halt DTAC’s business activities on the grounds that its concession breaches the country’s joint venture law.

True’s move is a response to a suit filed by DTAC earlier this week to halt True’s deal with concession owner CAT to jointly invest in CDMA and HSPA services. DTAC had filed the suit on the grounds that True and CAT had violated the same joint venture law.

According to the Bangkok Post, True is offering to take the witness stand with CAT to fight DTAC’s allegations.

True CEO Suphachai Cheravanont told the Bangkok Post that the its latest action stemmed from a desire to protect the company, its customers and the industry.

A press statement from True said the company was concerned for the welfare of True and CAT’s 1 million customers, and would “fight to the very end” to ensure these customers were not affected by DTAC’s actions.

The statement, however, did not address the reason for DTAC’s suit – the argument that True’s takeover of Hutchison Thailand’s assets, in which CAT was also a stakeholder, and the subsequent 14 year deal to market 3G services jointly was anti-competitive.

While True launched has 3G services, CAT is now seeking legal advice on whether to allow DTAC to start its commercial 3G offering. DTAC has waited 2 years for approval.

According to the Bangkok Post, CAT president Jirayuth Roongsrithong denied any link between the two issues.

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