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NCC approves Far EasTone’s NT$5bn APT investment

Post Date 2021.08.29From:Taipei Times By Shelley Shan / Staff reporter

The National Communications Commission (NCC) on Thursday approved Far EasTone Telecommunications’ investment in Asia Pacific Telecom (APT) on the condition that APT submit minutes of shareholders’ and board meetings to ensure its independence.

Based on the investment plan, Far EasTone would invest NT$5 billion (US$179 million) for 11.58 percent of APT’s shares and a seat on its board of directors. The investment would make it the second-largest shareholder in APT.

The commission imposed the condition that APT submit the minutes of its meetings by July 1 every year for five years to ensure that Far EasTone does not interfere in its operations, NCC Vice Chairman Wong Po-tsung (翁柏宗) said.

The ruling came after the commission in March approved APT’s proposal to share Far EasTone’s 5G bandwidth and use its network, provided that the telecoms commit to building more base stations to expand 4G and 5G coverage.

The Fair Trade Commission earlier this month also approved the telecoms’ plan to use the same 5G bandwidth and network, on the understanding that it would help the companies reduce operating costs.

Far EasTone thanked the commission for its support and said it would adhere to the conditions, while APT said the investment would help consumers.

Far EasTone also said it would finalize a share-swap agreement with APT’s largest shareholder, Hon Hai Precision Industry, before June 30 next year.

That transaction would make Far EasTone and Hon Hai APT’s largest shareholders with each holding 23.8 percent of the shares in the telecom.

Separately, the commission also approved WalkGame’s application to establish a satellite television channel.

The Camerabay Variety Channel would mainly air content from Camerabay Internet TV, the commission said, adding that WalkGame planned to launch the channel in February or March next year.

Camerabay’s largest shareholder is Sanlih Entertainment Television, which holds 25 percent of the shares in the firm, NCC said.

Camerabay chairman Huang Hui-ling (黃惠玲) told the NCC commissioners that Sanlih is only a shareholder and has not interfered in the company’s operations.