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  1. #1
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    TOT eyes B214bn in damages

    http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/loca...4bn-in-damages

    TOT eyes B214bn in damages

    Compensation claim rocks industry, stocks

    TOT Plc has sent a jolt throughout the telecom industry by announcing it plans to seek 214.7 billion baht in compensation from local telecom operators for unpaid access charges and losses resulting from improper policy changes made by past governments.



    Mobile operator Advanced Info Service was hit yesterday with a claim for 74 billion baht for unpaid compensation following the illegal amendments to its concession with TOT during the Thaksin Shinawatra government.

    Thaksin, who founded AIS and the telecom conglomerate Shin Corp, AIS's parent company, was found by the Supreme Court in February 2010 to have abused his power by approving the use of an excise tax on telecom services to reduce revenue-sharing concession payments, as well as allowing the amendment of concessions that ultimately reduced payments to state-owned TOT.

    Two fixed-line telephone operators, True Corp and TT&T, will also be subject to demands for compensation. TOT is also seeking payments of 138.6 billion baht from Dtac, Thailand's second-largest mobile operator, True Move, Digital Phone and state-owned CAT Telecom for what it claims are unpaid access charges for the use of its network.

    The announcement prompted the sale of listed telecom stocks, pushing down the broad Stock Exchange of Thailand index 0.46% even as most other regional markets closed higher yesterday.

    Separately, cabinet ministers yesterday agreed to give the ICT Ministry 15 days to negotiate with AIS, Dtac and True regarding a separate dispute on the legality of past concession changes made by all three mobile operators with TOT and CAT Telecom.

    Analysts said the developments would probably further delay efforts to strengthen the country's telecoms infrastructure because of regulatory risk and policy uncertainties.

    TOT deputy president Hutacharoen Noppanat said the agency was acting to protect the interests of the public.

    "The TOT is not singling out any one party. We are taking action now to protect our rights before the statute of limitation for certain cases expires," he said.

    All three main mobile phone operators and the two private fixed-line phone operators operate under concession contracts with either TOT or CAT Telecom dating back in some cases nearly 20 years.

    Many amendments to the original concessions have been made over the years, in some cases to support new services and in other cases to adjust revenue-sharing terms or extend operating periods.

    TOT will seek 36.99 billion baht in compensation from AIS for foregone revenues dating back to 2001, when the sixth amendment to its concession reduced revenue-sharing rates to 20% for pre-paid subscribers, compared with 25% to 30% based on its original agreement.

    Another 36.8 billion baht in claims will be filed seeking compensation for lost payments after the Thaksin government illegally approved a excise tax on telecom services.

    TOT chairman Areepong Bhoocha-oom denied reports the agency had already submitted claims to the private operators. The TOT board will meet on Feb 11 to finalise the action.

    Mr Areepong, also the finance permanent secretary, said the filing was based on the law. If negotiations failed, the dispute would have to be settled through arbitration.

    Legal experts said the arbitration procedure could take over a year to resolve. If arbitrators rule in favour of TOT, the agency would then have to pursue the case in the Civil Court, a process that could take years to resolve.

    Securities analysts said brokers should consider avoiding telecom stocks for now.

    Thitithep Nophaket, an analyst at Phatra Securities, said it was unusual how the access charge payments demanded by TOT from True and Dtac were three times higher than that calculated by the companies themselves.

    "The issue will likely have an impact on investor sentiment. How much will depend on what happens next," he said.

    Chai Chirasevenupraphund, research head at Capital Nomura Securities, agreed the news would hurt share valuations for the affected telecom stocks, and that most brokers would now likely cut their target price forecasts.
    "Slavery is the daughter of darkness; an ignorant people is the blind instrument of its own destruction; ambition and intrigue take advantage of the credulity and inexperience of men who have no political, economic or civil knowledge. They mistake pure illusion for reality, license for freedom, treason for patriotism, vengeance for justice."-Simón Bolívar

  2. #2
    Thailand Expat
    sabang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StrontiumDog
    the illegal amendments to its concession with TOT during the Thaksin Shinawatra government.
    Assuming this prima facie case holds water, then the Defendant would be the Thai government- because they changed the rules. The telecom operators have nothing to do with it- on the contrary, they would be subject to action by their shareholders if they continued to pay at the old rate of access charges after the laws had been amended by the government.

    In short, just politically motivated bullshit imo.
    probes Aliens

  3. #3
    Have you got any cheese Thetyim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sabang
    the Defendant would be the Thai government- because they changed the rules
    Maybe they in turn could sue Taksin for 214Bn Baht

  4. #4
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    Piffling. They could then sue takkie for the GNP of a mid sized nation plus a few diamond mines in east Africa, for conflict of interest. They could also sue him for an indefinite stay of execution before allowing his return to LOS on quarantine grounds, as he was once seen hugging Nelson Mandela.

  5. #5
    Thailand Expat SteveCM's Avatar
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    TOT to sue cat for Bt140 billion

    BUSINESS »

    By Usanee Mongkolporn
    The Nation
    Published on April 11, 2011


    TOT's board has given the nod to sue CAT Telecom for Bt140 billion in overdue access charges and revenue-sharing.

    Director Prapan Boonyakiat said last week that TOT would likely file the damage claim with the Central Administrative Court at the end of this month. TOT has to make the move before November, since this case has to be taken to court within five years after the dispute erupted in November 2006.

    Up until 2006, CAT and the private cellular providers holding concessions from CAT - TrueMove, Total Access Communication (DTAC) and Digital Phone Co (DPC) - had paid the access charge of Bt200 per month per number to TOT for routing their subscribers' calls via TOT's network to other networks.

    They all stopped paying the access charge to TOT in November 2006, following the introduction of the interconnection charge regime by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) that year.

    Then TrueMove, DTAC and DPC turned to adopting the NTC interconnection regime, citing the need to comply with the NTC, the de-facto regulator. At the same time, CAT also stopped sharing half of its concession revenue with TOT.

    The accrued access charges and concession fees that CAT allegedly owes to TOT have reached Bt140 billion.

    TOT has been receiving total access fees of Bt14 billion per year.

    The NTC interconnection regime requires the networks of callers to pay the interconnection fee to the networks of the receivers.

    TOT filed a damage claim against CAT on the matter at the Civil Court in 2006 but the court dismissed the case on grounds that it was not under its purview. The court sent the case to the Office of Attorney-General, as the dispute is between two state enterprises.

    The Office of Attorney-General sent its opinion to the Information and Communications Technology Ministry last year that the ministry should step in to clear up the problem. This prompted the ministry to set up a panel last year to look into the matter.

    The panel called both state telecom enterprises in for talks to solve the problem but they failed to find a solution. Then the panel concluded in February this year that TOT should sue for compensation.


  6. #6
    Thailand Expat SteveCM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveCM
    ...the dispute is between two state enterprises.
    Not quite "man bites dog" - but pretty close to "government sues itself".

    Forward into the past..... "Thailand - Hub of Dysfunction".

  7. #7
    Thailand Expat
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    A government owned utiity suing a private cell phone service provider over a decision reached by a Government entity. Wouldn't that make any company or investor think twice before investing in Thailand?

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