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Taiwan’s Fair Trade Commission Approves Taiwan Mobile-T Star Merger

The Fair Trade Commission (FTC) announced Thursday that it has conditionally approved a merger between Taiwan Mobile Co. and Taiwan Star Telecom Corp. (T Star).

The FTC said it approved the merger during a commission meeting Wednesday under several conditions, which include requiring Taiwan Mobile, the surviving company following the merger, to guarantee consumers’ rights, improve the quality of service and network connection, and promote market competition.

The approval of the merger came after the FTC approved a tie-up between Far EasTone Telecommunications Co. and Asia Pacific Telecom Co. in July.

Once the two high-profile mergers are completed, Taiwan’s mobile phone market will consolidate down to three major service providers–Chunghwa Telecom, Taiwan Mobile, and Far EasTone Telecommunications.

To allay concerns over potential competition constraints and to ensure that the overall economic benefits of the merger are greater than the disadvantages, the FTC said it decided not to prohibit the merger, but to impose the three above-mentioned conditions on Taiwan Mobile.

In terms of protecting users’ rights and interests, Taiwan Mobile must accept the terms of T Star’s existing customer contracts and ensure that service subscribers can continue accessing their telecom services based on existing contracts until Dec. 31, 2025, the FTC said.

In addition, a 4G lifetime fixed fee for unlimited 4G service offered by T Star should remain unchanged until the 4G spectrum usage expires, it added.

Taiwan Mobile should also submit an annual report on its preferential tariff plans to different subscribers and on how it implements these plans within five years following the completion of the merger, the FTC said.

Based on the undertakings attached to the approval, Taiwan Mobile has to submit an annual report on concrete measures it takes to enhance its service and network quality and the implementation outcomes as well as an annual report on how it fulfills its commitments to bring benefits to the overall economy within five years after the merger is completed.

In terms of promoting market competition, Taiwan Mobile is required to provide the same quality of mobile voice and data services, data roaming, portable number and equal access services to subscribers of other telecom companies as those offered to its own subscribers, according to the FTC.

Source: Focus Taiwan