NBTC panel concludes JASMBB must pay Bt130m in fine, costs

Economy May 25, 2016 01:00

By USANEE MONGKOLPORN
THE NATION

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A NATIONAL Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission panel has concluded that a fine and costs, expected to total around Bt130 million, should be slapped on Jas Mobile Broadband (JASMBB) for failing to pay the first instalment of the upfront fee for



The panel will submit its conclusion to the NBTC telecom committee today.

The panel concluded that as a result of the company’s failure to pay the fee, the NBTC could seize the Bt644-million deposit JASMBB placed before the auction of 900MHZ licences last December.

The NBTC can also claim damages from JASMBB from its failure to pay the first instalment of the licence upfront fee and the cost of re-auctioning the 900MHz licence, which has since been forfeited by the subsidiary of Jasmine International (Jas).

The NBTC has already seized the Bt644 million deposit. It will re-auction the 900MHz licence this Friday.

For the damage claim, the working panel proposed a fine of Bt1.675 million a day, covering the period from March 22 until the telecom committee approves the outcome of the Friday auction, which is expected to be done on the same day.

The claim is calculated from interest of 7.5 per cent per day of the first instalment of Bt8.04 billion. If the telecom committee approves the winner of the re-auction on Friday as expected, this means the total fine is Bt112 million.

However, the telecom panel will finalise how many days JASMBB will be fined for.

The cost of the re-auction is about Bt18 million.

As part of its probe into JASMBB’s failure to pay the initial fee, the panel learned that Jas had tried to seek bank loans and a deal to rent telecom facilities from CAT Telecom but failed to reach a loan agreement with any bank.

The investigating panel also concluded that in relation to the JASMBB case, the NBTC could not punish other licence holders that are in the Jasmine International group, as they are separate entities from JASMBB.