Investigation Finds No Collusion in Thailand's 3G Auction
Published on: 23rd Nov 2012
Note -- this news article is more than a year old.
By: Ian Mansfield
Another of the investigations into Thailand's 3G license auction has failed to find any evidence of collusion between the three bidders.
Following the failure of the auction to sell the licenses for more than the reserve prices, there had been allegations that the three sole bidders for the three licenses had colluded to fix the prices. They all denied the claims, which generally came from special interest groups unhappy with the auction in general.
That the auction would probably sell the licenses at the reserve price was expected, due to the way it had been structured by the regulator.
The Department of Special Investigation (DSI) and a probe committee led by the House secretary-general have now said that they were both unable to find any evidence to support the claims of collusion.
The regulator itself called in the DSI to investigate the auction process, to assuage concerns of a cover-up.
A separate court case is being held to overturn the entire auction process on the grounds that the lack of competition was illegal. If the licenses cannot be formally handed over by the end of January, then they will be invalidated anyway, and the auction will have to be carried out again.