DTAC to pay B9.5bn to settle disputes with CAT

DTAC to pay B9.5bn to settle disputes with CAT

People walk past a DTAC service centre in Bangkok in September last year. (Photo by Pornprom Satrabhaya)
People walk past a DTAC service centre in Bangkok in September last year. (Photo by Pornprom Satrabhaya)

Total Access Communication Plc (DTAC), a subsidiary of Norwegian telecoms firm Telenor, has agreed to pay 9.5 billion baht to settle all but two legal disputes with CAT Telecom Plc.

The deal covers most of the court cases it had over the past 27 years with the state-owned telecom company, the mobile operator told the Stock Exchange of Thailand on Thursday.

It does not include two disputes over revenue sharing concerning excise tax and interconnection charges, the statement said.

DTAC’s concession with CAT ended in mid-September last year. It was not renewed because the concession regime had been replaced by a licensing system a few years ago.

DTAC’s board and CAT agreed on the settlement terms on Thursday. They will take effect after DTAC’s shareholders endorsed them at the annual shareholders' meeting this year, the third-ranked mobile operator said.

Of the 9.5-billion-baht payout, 6.8 billion baht will be paid after the deal was approved by DTAC's shareholders. The rest will be paid after the cases were withdrawn from courts.

DTAC said the settlement would not substantially affect its financial position and liquidity. But investors were not convinced as its shares plunged 11.9% to 40.75 baht in trade worth 1 billion baht at 4pm on Thursday. 

Telenor, which owns 43% of the SET-listed company, also reported the settlement to the Oslo Stock Exchange on Thursday. 

"Over the 27-year concession period, DTAC and CAT have been engaged in numerous litigation cases, mostly over differences in interpretation of the concession agreement," Telenor said.

"Today's settlement will close all, except two, issues between DTAC and CAT, and will also bar the parties from bringing new claims pertaining to the concession regime," it added.

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