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NBTC commissioners cleared of all charges

The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) yesterday ruled that all charges against four members of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission regarding the auction of licences for the 2.1-gigahertz spectrum in 2012 were groundless.

According to the anti-graft agency, its probe found that the NBTC's auction regulations did not favour the three final qualified bidders, Advanced Wireless Network (AWN), DTAC Network, and Real Future, given that 20 companies qualified to join the bid. The licences granted the winners the right to operate third-generation cellular service on the 2.1GHz spectrum.

The NACC also noted that the Department of Business Development had found that DTAC Network was a Thai-owned company, so it did not lack qualification to be a licence applicant, as charged.

The probe also found that AWN, DTAC Network and Real Future conformed with the auction rules and there was no evidence of collusion in the bidding.

The NACC set up a subcommittee to probe the case after many parties alleged that the auction had breached the State Bidding Act and lacked meaningful competition.

The investigation involved four of the five members of the NBTC's telecom committee, who voted to approve the auction results.

They were committee chairman Settapong Malisuwan, Suthiphon Thaveechaiyagarn, Prasert Silphiphat, and Sukit Khamasundara.


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