NBTC approves draft foreign dominance regulations

19 Jul 2012

The board of Thailand’s National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) yesterday approved the draft of revised regulations aimed at preventing foreign dominance in the local telecoms industry, the Bangkok Post reports. The regulations will take effect next week, said Settapong Malisuwan, chairman of the NBTC’s telecom committee, who stated that the rules are designed to help local telecoms operators avoid breaching the Telecommunications Business Act and the Foreign Business Act, preventing possible foreign dominance, with overseas shareholdings capped at 49%. The regulations are not intended to deter foreign investment, he added, a point which was also stressed in an earlier meeting between the NBTC and the head of trade and economic affairs for the European Union delegation set up to provide clarification of the rules. Settapong also dismissed operator fears that the new foreign dominance regulations might be used as a tool to disrupt October’s scheduled 3G licence auction if one party calls into question the legality of a rival’s ownership.