Thu, Feb 28, 2008 - Page 4 News List

NCC issues ultimatum to Jaw over shares in BCC

By Shelley Shan  /  STAFF REPORTER

The National Communications Commission (NCC) yesterday issued an ultimatum to former Broadcasting Corporation of China (BCC) chairman Jaw Shaw-kong (趙少康), demanding that he and his wife Liang Lei (梁蕾) reduce her shares in the company to less than 10 percent within 15 days.

"Should Jaw fail to comply with this mandate," NCC spokesman Howard Shyr (石世豪) said, "the commission will have to annul the BCC's application to transfer its ownership."

The BCC was purchased by four companies, allegedly all controlled by Jaw, in June last year.

Shyr said Jaw must present the commission with documentation proving that Liang has reduced her shares from 34 percent to 10 percent by March 20.

Shyr said that the commission would not negotiate the case or wait any longer for Jaw and his wife to comply. If Jaw retains his position at the BCC after the deadline the commission is entitled to penalize the company for violating regulations, he said.

Last June, the commission approved the BCC's application to change its ownership registration provided that the company adhere to several conditions set by the commission.

In addition to reducing Liang's stake, Jaw was banned from merging UFO Radio, which he owns, with the BCC, which the commission concluded should be run separately. The commission also required that BCC shares be traded publicly within two years of the change of ownership.

The BCC was further required to relinquish two radio frequencies once reserved to broadcast anti-communist propaganda.

Jaw originally agreed to reduce Liang's stake by Dec. 26 last year. In October, however, he announced his resignation as BCC chairman, citing "relentless persecution" by the government.

"The commission understood Jaw's plight, but he must still keep his promises," Shyr said.

The commission has since found that Jaw is still "heavily involved" in BCC operations.

The commission discussed the matter at its weekly meeting last week as well, but did not reach a consensus on what action to take.

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