The Fair Trade Commission (FTC) on Saturday demanded that buyers of the print assets of the Next Media Group (壹傳媒集團) submit all documents required for the assessment of the buyout within two weeks.
Due to suspisions that Want Want China Times Group (旺旺中時集團) is involved in the deal under the name of Newwing Ltd, a privately-owned company under the management of Want Want chairman Tsai Eng-meng (蔡衍明), the FTC requested Want Want Group submit the additional documents required for evaluation no later than March 11.
The FTC said in a statement that Tsai claimed his media consortium has no connection to the buyout of the Hong Kong-based Next Media Group as filings delivered to the commission showed he joined the deal under the name of Newwing.
However, an investigation by FTC showed that Tsai did participate in the deal through Newwing, the statement said.
FTC said it had notified Want Want to submit all required documents, including background information on Want Want Group’s Chinese-language China Times, Commercial Times, China Times Weekly and Info Times, to the commission for evaluation prior to March 11.
In addition to Newwing, the FTC also requested the consortium’s other buyers, namely Formosa Plastics Group’s (台塑集團) subsidiaries Global Professional Investment Ltd and Formosa Group Ocean Marine Investment Corp, Chinatrust Charity Foundation chairman (中信慈善基金) Jeffrey Koo Jr’s (辜仲諒) privately-owned Lucky Bell Holding Ltd and Lung Yen Life Service Corp (龍巖集團) chairman David Lee’s (李世聰) Long Bao Pte Ltd (龍寶), submit additional documents.
After the commission receives all documents needed for the assessment, it will decide whether to approve or reject the case in accordance with the law, according to the statement.
The commission said it may dismiss the application if the required documents are not submitted before the deadline.