Fair Trade Commission (FTC) Chairman Wu Shiow-ming (吳秀明) said yesterday the commission is considering whether to hold a hearing that would require the buyers of Next Media Group’s (壹傳媒集團) Taiwanese operations to testify at the meeting.
Wu said the hearing is likely to be held after the commission receives applications from the buyers regarding the ownership transfer of the Hong Kong-listed firm’s local interests. He did not specify when that would be.
Earlier this week, Next Media sold its Taiwanese outlets — the Chinese-language Apple Daily, Next Magazine, Sharp Daily and Next TV — to a consortium composed of Chinatrust Charity Foundation (中信慈善基金會) chairman Jeffrey Koo Jr (辜仲諒), Formosa Plastics Group (台塑集團) chairman William Wong (王文淵), Want Want China Times Group (旺旺中時集團) chairman Tsai Eng-meng (蔡衍明), Lung Yen Life Service Corp (龍巖集團) chairman David Lee (李世聰) and Taiwan Fire & Marine Insurance Co (台灣產物保險) chairman Steve Lee (李泰宏).
Wu said he hopes the buyers could attend the hearing in person, while FTC spokesman Sun Lih-chyun (孫立群) said the commission would need to thoroughly prepare for the hearing, which would be the first time the FTC has held a hearing on a specific deal.
Sun said the commission previously held a hearing to examine concerted action taken by local cement companies.
Because of the complexity and significance of that case, the commission spent four years investigating, interviewing 500 company owners and amassing 20,000 pages of documentation.