Taiwan’s National Communications Commission (NCC) has approved Far EasTone Telecommunications (FET’s) investment in Asia Pacific Telecom (APT) on the condition that the latter submits minutes of shareholders’ and board meetings to ensure its independence, the Taipei Times reports. As per FET’s plan, it will invest TWD5 billion (USD179 million) for an 11.58% stake in APT and a seat on its board of directors, with the deal making it the second largest shareholder in its rival provider. In giving the nod for the transaction, the NCC has imposed a condition that requires APT to submit the minutes of its meetings by 1 July every year for five years to ensure that FET does not interfere in its operations. FET has now reportedly said it aims to finalise a share-swap agreement with APT’s largest shareholder, Hon Hai Precision Industry, before 30 June 2022, with that transaction expected to make FET and Hon Hai APT’s largest shareholders, with each holding 23.8% of the operator’s shares.
Approval for the investment comes after the NCC in March this year gave the green light to APT’s proposal to share FET’s 5G bandwidth and use its network, provided that the operators committed to building more base stations to expand 4G and 5G coverage. Meanwhile, the Fair Trade Commission (FTC) earlier this month also approved the pair’s 5G infrastructure co-sharing plans on the understanding that it would help them reduce operating costs.