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True-DTAC Merger ‘Unstoppable’ Despite Major Opposition

Consumer prices may rise as competition shrinks, but the merger of True Corporation and Total Access Communications faces almost-certain approved by Thai regulators who claim they’re powerless to stop it.

Shareholders from the two companies will consider the deal today, paving the way for the formation of a joint company later this year.

Politicians, consumer advocates, academics and rivals all oppose the merger, saying it will give allow True-DTAC to dominate the market and raise prices.

But True’s parent – Charoen Pokphand Group  – has its hooks deeply into every layer of the Thai government, meaning no official wants to risk getting kicked off the gravy train by upsetting Thailand’s richest family.

The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission said that it has no authority to stop the merger and can only enact rules to ensure the merger will not harm the public interest.