The controversial merger of True Corporation and Total Access Communication (DTAC) is set to take place in Q1 this year
This week, the boards of True Corp and DTAC have announced that they have chosen the name for their soon-to-be-combined business, retaining the True Corporation brand name.
The news comes ahead of a joint shareholders’ meeting on February 23, where the two companies will iron out the merged entity’s combined corporate structure and other details.
The first public announcement that that the two operators were seeking to merger came back in November 2021. Since then, the controversial $7 billion deal has been plagued with delays, with various industry players, regulators, and academics saying that reducing the Thai mobile market to two players would damage competition and see customers face higher prices.
DTAC and True, on the other hand, maintained that the deal would help drive Thailand’s digitalisation journey, arguing that the dominance of existing market leader AIS meant that merger would in fact increase competition within the sector.
The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) finally gave the merger the green light with various conditions on 20 October last year. These conditions focussed on maintaining reasonable average prices for consumers, protecting customer choice by requiring DTAC and True brands to remain separate for the next three years, and encouraging mobile virtual network operators to use the company’s network.
Nonetheless, despite these seemingly strict conditions, various onlookers were still unsatisfied, with the Thailand Consumers Council launching an appeal with the Central Administrative Court to revoke the NBTC’s decision.
Ultimately, this appeal was rejected in December, leaving DTAC and True free to complete their merger later this quarter.
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