Sat, Feb 03, 2007 - Page 2 News List

Commission to look into UFO Radio's BCC buyout

LEGAL PURCHASE?The media watchdog said that it would question the new BCC chairman over whether investment in the purchase exceeded the state-set cap

By Shelley Shan  /  STAFF REPORTER

The National Communications Commission (NCC) said yesterday it would ask Jaw Shaw-kong (趙少康), the new chairman of the Broadcasting Corporation of China (BCC), to brief the commission on his recent purchase of the broadcasting company.

The NCC planned to question Jaw about how four companies said to be affiliated with his UFO Radio Network had been able to fund the purchase of one the nation's largest radio stations, NCC Chairman Su Yeong-ching (蘇永欽) said.

"If everything goes as planned, it is very likely that Jaw might come and report to us some time before the Lunar New Year," he said at a press conference yesterday celebrating the first anniversary of the commission's establishment.

Su told the press that the purchase was complex.

He said that the BCC and UFO Radio were both leaders in the radio broadcasting market and since the BCC was at one time an asset of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), the transaction would be investigated to see whether political parties, parts of the government or the military were still involved in the operation of mass media.

Su noted that several items would be addressed in the commission's investigation.

It would first ask Jaw to explain how he had financed the BCC buyout and whether investments from overseas and Chinese investors for this deal had exceeded set limits.

The government regulates incoming investments from overseas, particularly from China.

Moreover, the commission will investigate whether any laws had been violated by the fact that four subsidiaries seemingly controlled by Jaw jointly owned shares of the BCC.

Su said the commission would also coordinate with the Fair Trade Commission to investigate whether the transaction would violate the principle of fair market competition.

Su said the commission was ready to begin the investigation as soon as possible.

However, he also emphasized that this was by no means a fraud investigation, adding that the commission would only ask Jaw questions within its authority.

The Grand Council of Justices ruled last year that the formation of the commission was unconstitutional. The council asked the Executive Yuan to amend Article Four of the Organic Law of the National Communications Commission (國家通訊傳播委員會組織法) by Dec. 31 this year.

The ruling also said that the verdicts the judges issued remained effective.

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