The Investment Commission under the Ministry of Economic Affairs on Tuesday decided to postpone its review of a controversial plan by Far EasTone Telecommunications Co. to acquire a stake in cable TV operator CNS.
The case will be returned to the National Communications Commission (NCC) for reconsideration, Investment Commission Executive Secretary Emile Chang(???)said.
CNS is the largest cable TV operator in Taiwan, with a customer base of 1.29 million households, accounting for about 26 percent of the local cable TV market share.
Far EasTone is moving to indirectly acquire a stake in CNS through a strategic alliance with Morgan Stanley Private Equity Asia (MSPE Asia), in order to skirt existing regulations that bar political parties, the government and the military from holding shares in media entities.
At present, government agencies hold a 2.89 percent stake in Far EasTone.
Under an agreement signed last July, Far EasTone will buy bonds to be issued by MSPE Asia's subsidiary North Haven Private Equity Asia IV LP (NHPEA), which will in turn buy a 60 percent stake in CNS from South Korean private equity firm MBK Partners LP.
The deal was approved conditionally by the Fair Trade Commission last December and by the NCC on Jan. 27 this year.
Lawmakers from the Democratic Progressive Party, which returned to power on May 20 with a legislative majority, have expressed opposition to the deal and demanded that the NCC rescind its approval.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel