FTC demands to know identities of investors in Next Media buyout deal
By Joy Lee, The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Fair Trade Commission (FTC) yesterday requested all buyers and the seller involved in the Next Media deal to file reports and clarify the identities of investors and buyers within 30 days.
January 10, 2013, 12:04 am TWN
FTC spokesman Sun Lih-chyun (孫立群) said that if the buyers fail to file the reports within 30 days, the FTC could prohibit the deal according to the Fair Trade Act.
According to the FTC, the major buyers of Next Media's Taiwanese arm are Tsai Eng-meng (蔡衍明), chairman of Want Want China Holdings Ltd.; Jeffrey Koo Jr. (辜仲諒), chairman of Chinatrust Financial Holding; James Lee (李世聰), chairman of Lung Yen Life Service Co.; and Wong Wen-yuan (王文淵), chairman of Formosa Plastics Group.
Sun said “according to Article 6 of the Fair Trade Act, all four buyers have to file merger reports. Next Media, which is the seller in the deal, also has to file a report due to its 25 percent of the market share in 2011.
“The FTC already has information on who is the actual investor behind each buyer involved in this deal,” Sun said. “The FTC will ask buyers to turn in more information if they do not clarify the actual investors, which could delay the merger and disadvantage both the buyers and the seller,” he said.
Sun said the FTC requested buyers list the actual investors because it will affect the determination of the buyers' market share.
As for the Next TV deal, Sun said, the seller and buyers wanted to wait until a separate deal on print media assets is completed before proceeding with to the Next TV deal. So far, the FTC has not received reports from the buyers about the Next TV acquisition, he said.
Chen Hsiao-yi (陳曉宜), a member of the Anti-media Monopoly Alliance, said “the alliance praises the FTC for asking the buyers to clarify the actual investors, but we still hope the FTC will publish more information regarding the Next Media deal.”
NCC on Anti-media Monopoly
National Communications Commission (NCC) Chairman Howard Shyr (石世豪) said yesterday that the NCC will propose an amendment specifically covering regulations on anti-media monopoly this March.
A Democratic Progressive Party-initiated amendment to the Radio and Television Act, the Satellite Broadcasting Act and the Cable Radio and Television Act was listed for review at the Yuan Sitting yesterday.
Shyr said that the amendment proposed by the NCC will be sent to the Executive Yuan for review and adjustment in March and then will be sent to the Legislative Yuan for further review.