NCC rejects renewed APT, Ambit merger application

5 Oct 2015

Taiwanese telecoms regulator the National Communications Commission (NCC) has once again rejected an application for a merger between Ambit Microsystems and Asia Pacific Telecom (APT), according to the Taipei Times.

An earlier merger application was rejected in January 2015 on the grounds that it had not adequately explained the scope of a strategic alliance with another of Taiwan’s cellular operators, Taiwan Mobile, which holds shares in Ambit. In this latest development the link between Ambit, APT and Taiwan Mobile has again caused concern for the NCC. Regulatory spokesperson Yu Hsiao-cheng noted that, with Taiwan Mobile having raised its stake in Ambit via the acquisition of 14.99% of the latter’s shares, the merger of APT and Ambit would lead to Taiwan Mobile having a 3.45% holding in the post-merger firm. According to the Telecommunications Act, Taiwan Mobile should file an additional application regarding its investment in the new company, which must be approved by the NCC.

Separately, Taiwan Mobile and APT will each be required to submit individual plans to address breaches of telecoms regulations linked to a 4G roaming agreement under which the two firms would share a core network; such a setup, the NCC has ruled, does not actually meet the definition of a roaming agreement. According to Yu, the Commission will only review the merger once it has received all the relevant documentation.

For its part, APT has said it will make a renewed merger application as soon as possible after examining the NCC’s requests, while it will also submit a plan to address the issue of its use of the core network.