Gets A New Definition
to changes to be presented in Thailand's competition law,
businesses who control a 50% or greater share in their respective
markets will be considered a monopoly if their annual sales
generate more than one billion baht. Under the earlier version
of the Act, the definition of a dominant business was one
with a 33.33% share in its market and one billion baht in
sales, but such definition was never formally approved by
the previous government. With the implementation of the 50%
market share requirement significantly less businesses would
be subject to the effect of the Act. The new law still requires
ministry and cabinet approval.
operators in the industrial, commercial and agricultural sectors
will be affected and not the service sector. Companies meeting
the new criteria would be subject to regular scrutiny by the
Trade Competition Board. Penalties include up to three years
in jail and/or a six-million-baht fine. The Ministerial announcement
was made in late August 2001.
Telecom Operators Worried Over Bill
October 10, 2001, the House of Representatives passed the
heavily criticized telecommunications service bill. The bill
passed in a 276-76 vote despite concerns of private telecom
operators who fear small operators will vanish from the industry.
outcome of the vote allows for the bill to be submitted by
Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra to His Majesty the King
for signature within 20 days. Once the bill has been signed
it will then be announced in the Royal Gazette becoming effective
in 90 days.
new law will limit foreign shareholdings in telecommunications
companies to 25%. One aspect of the new law that remains unclear
is whether the 25% restriction applies to operators already
in existence. Under the new law, telecom operators must change
their concession contracts and then reapply to the National
is widely accepted that foreign shareholders hold more than
25% in most Thailand based telecommunications enterprises.
Concerns were also raised that the passage of the bill would
conflict with Thailand obligations for trade liberalization
under the World Trade Organization.
Decline To Participate In TAMC Program
first lot of a total of 900 billion baht worth of bad loans
was expected to be transferred to the Thai Asset Management
Corp in mid-October with the remainder to be transferred by
the end of 2001.