Thai market leader Advanced Info Services (AIS) has voiced its opposition to the merger between rivals True and Dtac, claiming the deal would affect consumers through diminished competition.
Bangkok Post reported that the operator slammed its rivals in a public hearing held by the telecoms regulator the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC).
AIS head of business development Saran Phaloprakarn said the merger will shrink the number of players from three to two, which will reduce alternative options, promotions and after-sale services for consumers.
This will also affect the wider industry such as distributors, subcontractors and retail shops.
"The merger will lead to the end of the price war and real competition ecosystem," said Saran.
Saran noted the merger will push the Herfindahl-Hirschman Index (HHI), a market measure of concentrations and market competitiveness, from 3,575 in September 2021 to 4,706. This means the market concentration is already high in mobile despite the merger not yet taking place.
The merger will also see the combined entities violating a spectrum cap rule set by the NBTC, said Saran.
He stated, if the merger proceeds, a fee must be paid to the regulator for a scheme to benefit consumers.