The merger of True and DTAC has hit yet another hurdle, with AIS petitioning Thailand’s Central Administrative Court to revoke the regulatory approval granted to the deal last month.
The Bangkok Post reported that AIS subsidiary Advanced Wireless Network (AWN) filed the petition on 11th November, further requesting that the court place an injunction on the proposed merger if it rules in favour of AIS.
AIS’ argument is bolstered by the support of the Thailand Consumer Council, which filed a similar petition with the court on 10th November. The council argues that the merged entity would become dominant in the market, restricting competition. According to TeleGeography, the council also alleged that the NBTC’s approval vote was illegitimate.
True and DTAC first confirmed their merger plans in November 2021. The move would reduce the number of operators in the Thai market to two, and has met with fierce resistance from market leader AIS.
The regulator and other branches of government have expressed concerns over competition, although NBTC’s board last month voted in favour of allowing the merger to proceed on the grounds that it had no authority either to block or approve the deal.