DTAC in hot water for Facebook blocking admission

By Coconuts Bangkok, 12 Jun 2014 14:48 0 comments

Regulators have vowed to scrutinize No. 2 telecom DTAC after its Norwegian parent company "inappropriately" admitted to blocking Facebook at the behest of Thai officials.

DTAC's 4G future could be in jeopardy as telecom regulators said they will investigate the company's foreign ownership, according to Naew Na, an ultranationalist news site.

Col. Settapong Malisuwan, vice chairman of the the National Broadcasting and Telecommunication Commission, said it was inappropriate and disrespectful for Norway-based Telenor to disclose the junta's role in a brief blackout of Facebook, Bangkok Post reported. He said the commission would initiate and investigation of the firm.

"If we find some inconsistencies we'll take legal action," he told Naew Naw. "Not just ban it from the 4G auction."

Just yesterday, the commission signaled it would heighten scrutiny of potential bidders for the planned auction of 4G spectrum in the fall.

Telenor's disclosure Monday disclosure it had unhappily complied with a junta order to shut down Facebook ran counter to army assurances the outage resulted from a technical glitch.

Two years ago, DTAC's ownership came under fire after the firm was accused of exceeding the 49 percent foreign-ownership threshold. According to filings, Telenor owns 43 percent of the company.

DTAC isn't the only telecom with foreign ownership: Singapore Telecom owns a large piece of AIS and China Mobile will soon own one-fifth of True Corp.

Related:

DTAC owner: Facebook blocked on order of junta

Facebook goes down in Thailand!

AFP: Thai army says it will block social media that criticizes coup

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