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September 23, 2017

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DPP plans to sue NCC over Want Want deal

TAIPEI--The opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) said Sunday it will bring a citizen suit against the country's top media regulatory body for approving an acquisition deal that is widely seen as a move toward media monopoly.

DPP Deputy Secretary-General Lee Chun-yi said the party will not accept the National Communications Commission's (NCC) conditional approval of the Want Want China Times Group's buyout of China Network Systems, Taiwan's second-largest multiple cable service provider.

He said the party, along with several civic groups, will file a citizen suit against the NCC through administrative litigation.

The NCC's approval, granted last month, means that the Want Want China Times Group will gain a nearly 30 percent share of the cable TV market in Taiwan, the DPP said.

But NCC spokesman Wei Shyue-win said in a statement that the case is closed and the NCC hopes the public will respect its decision.

The DPP's decision to sue the government agency was announced one day after some 2,000 media workers, students and civic group members took to the streets of Taipei in protest against the acquisition deal.

Lee said the DPP and civic groups will discuss when to file the suit.

Meanwhile, DPP lawmakers will propose law amendments to prevent media monopoly and are considering making the bills retroactive, he said.

In response to one of the demands by the protesters, the NCC said it currently has no plan to introduce specific regulations against media monopoly.

Draft amendments to the Radio and Television Act, Satellite Broadcasting Act, and Cable Radio and Television Act — the country's three major broadcast media laws — have been sent to the Legislature for approval, the NCC said.

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