The board of the National Broadcasting and Telecommun-ications Commission (NBTC) will hold a meeting on May 22 to discuss the acquisition of Nation Multimedia Group (NMG) shares by News Network Corporation (NEWS), formerly known as Solution Corner (1998),
He said the board decided to look into the matter after its legal subcommittee decided that doing so was within the board’s purview in a case affecting the broadcasting industry.
The subcommittee cited Article 27 (17) of the 2010 Frequency Allocation Act, which says the NBTC board has the authority to determine whether mergers or acquisitions could result in domination of the broadcasting business, to the detriment of people’s freedom to access news and information.
The legal subcommittee had been asked to look into the case by NBTC broadcasting committee member Supinya Klangnarong. Earlier, she had asked the broadcasting committee to send the NMG case to the NBTC board for consideration but the committee declined to do so, as it had already voted on the case and considered it closed.
The majority of the five-member broadcasting committee on March 30 approved a resolution it made on March 23 that the rules governing the NBTC auction of digital-television licences should not be enforced on NEWS’s acquisition of a 12.27-per-cent stake in NMG.
Under the rules in question, a major shareholder was not allowed to hold more than 10 per cent of other companies in the same licence category.
NEWS is a major shareholder of Springnews Corp, which owns 100 per cent of digital-channel licence holder Springnews Television. NMG’s subsidiary Nation Broadcasting Corp owns 100 per cent of NBC Next Vision, which also holds a digital TV licence. It also runs Nation TV, another digital station.
Meanwhile, the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) yesterday put an "alert" sign on its website requiring NMG to clarify fact and reason why the company’s chairman of Wednesday’s shareholders meeting did not allow some shareholders to attend the 2015 Annual General Meeting.
The SET also required NMG to clarify information within seven days and encouraged the shareholders and investors to study information regarding the matter.
After getting enquiries about some NMG shareholders being barred from attending the meeting, the Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday said it will work closely with the SET to take appropriate actions once there is a clarification from NMG.