Thai regulator ‘not guilty’ of collusion

20 Aug 2014

Thailand’s National Broadcasting & Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) has been found innocent of charges of ‘collusion’ by the anti-corruption commission operating under the country’s military-run administration, the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO). TelecomAsia reports that the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) dismissed a complaint stemming from Thailand’s 2012 3G auction, clearing four of the five telecom commissioners and NBTC’s secretary general of any wrongdoing. The NACC concluded that it was clear there was no collusion with private sector operators in the seven-round 2100MHz licence auction, while the price paid for spectrum was ‘comparable’ to other countries with a similar per capita GDP. The ruling by the full NACC board overturns a NACC sub-committee recommendation that the NBTC be indicted for ‘corruption’ over the auction. Regarding a related allegation that the NBTC was ‘negligent’ in allowing Norwegian-backed cellco DTAC to bid for 3G spectrum, the NACC stated that DTAC was legally a Thai company under the country’s foreign ownership rules and thus the charge was dropped.