(Bloomberg) -- Thailand’s telecommunications regulator approved the takeover of internet provider Triple T Broadband Pcl by Advanced Info Service Pcl, the country’s biggest mobile phone operator, subject to certain safeguards to protect consumers.
The National Broadcasting and Telecommunication Commission board voted by a majority to approve the deal on Friday evening, according to the regulator’s statement. The board issued requirements to protect consumers such as keeping the lowest-priced pre-merger package available and ensuring service quality and price packages are kept for five years from the date of consolidation.
READ: Top Thai Mobile Operator Buys Internet Firm to Widen Network
Advanced Info must also maintain “net neutrality” without providing differentiated service quality and must allow other internet broadband service providers to rent the network for open access, according to the statement. The company had 44.4 million mobile customers and 2.38 million broadband subscribers as of Sept. 30.
The opposition Move Forward Party had opposed the merger and called on the NBTC board to reject the deal to prevent a monopoly or unfair business competition.
Move Forward cited the previous amalgamation of rivals True Corporation and Total Access Communication, saying that around 80% of Thailand’s internet market share would become controlled by just two operators, with consumers probably having to bear the cost of higher prices and lower service quality.
Four of the seven NBTC board members voted to approve Advanced Info’s takeover, with one member abstaining from voting, the Bangkok Post reported.
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