Thai operator True has confirmed that it intends to challenge a THB94 billion ($2.9 billion) fine that it has been issued by a tribunal relating to a dispute with rival operator TOT back in 2005.
The fine arose from an arbitration claim filed in October 2005 by TOT, which claimed that True had failed to meet its end of an agreement to deliver high speed ADSL internet services that could be used by both TOT and other parties.
According to True, the sum effectively represents the lost revenue from ADSL services between September 2001 and January 2018. True has stated that “the case is not final”, adding that it will file a legal challenge in the next 90 days.
TOT’s claim is not the only penalty facing True – Thai regulator NBTC has issued its subsidiary TrueMove with a fine of THB3.4 billion, claiming that the unit has breached the usage terms of 1800MHz spectrum. True has confirmed that it plans to contest this fine as well.
True is Thailand’s second largest operator, and is not the only major player in Thailand currently embroiled in legal difficulties. Number three dtac yesterday stated that it could sue the NBTC if it was prevented from delivering services over the 850MHz band after its concession with CAT Telecom expires on 15th September. However, the regulator is likely to dismiss the appeal to avoid accusations of favouritism as these could lead to further legal action.
IV Global Securities analyst Rattana Leenutaphong told Bloomberg: “Legal cases are hurting confidence in the industry. For True, the company must fight every way it can to defend the case as the money is so big. Court cases tend to drag on for a long time and will add to uncertainty over the stock.”