In the event of the National Communications Commission (NCC) failing to void the conditional approval of a deal allowing the Want Want China Times Group to acquire the cable TV services owned by China Network Systems, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) does not rule out filing a lawsuit against the commission for corruption and malfeasance, a DPP official said yesterday.
The three executives of the DPP caucus — convener Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘), director-general Pan Men-an (潘孟安) and chief secretary Tsai Chi-chang (蔡其昌) — as well as DPP Deputy Secretary-General Lee Chun-yi (李俊毅) are scheduled to meet NCC Chairman Howard Shyr (石世豪) tomorrow and will repeat the call, Lee told reporters.
The party saw the takeover deal as an important issue because it was related to media monopoly, freedom of the press and Beijing’s resorting to having a media owner as its proxy to influence Taiwanese media, Lee said.
“If the commission fails to make the commitment, we do not rule out filing a lawsuit against former and active NCC members for malfeasance and corruption,” Lee said.
The conditional approval, which came with three suspension clauses and a further 25 additional clauses, of the NT$76 billion (US$2.52 billion) deal was approved during the last week of the last term of the previous NCC members.
“And the members did not set a deadline for the Want Want China Times Group to complete those requirements. It seems to us that these are all moves which came in favor of the media group,” Lee said.
As a protest against media monopoly organized by journalists, academics and civic groups is scheduled to take place on Saturday — which is Journalist Day in Taiwan — the DPP was aware that it “could be the last line of defense against the significant deal,” Lee said.
A meeting convened by DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) on Monday concluded that a working group, headed by DPP Secretary-General Lin Hsi-yao (林錫耀), would be established to monitor the takeover case.
In addition to the lawsuit, Lee said, the DPP does not rule out taking extra measures to protect media freedom in Taiwan if the NCC refused to void the deal.
The DPP official also urged the Control Yuan to launch an investigation into the case.