Thu, Nov 26, 2015 - Page 3 News List

Minister’s role in EBC bid not a conflict: NCC

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

The National Communications Commission (NCC) yesterday said that its interaction with minister-without-portfolio Jacyln Tsai (蔡玉玲) — an attorney who heads a law firm that provides legal assistance to DMG Entertainment — has always been based on the law and professionalism, adding that the relationship would not affect the commission’s review of DMG’s proposed acquisition of Eastern Broadcasting Co (EBC).

The Los Angeles-based entertainment company was reported to have acquired one of Taiwan’s largest television networks, which generated an uproar earlier this week.

Lawmakers said that one of the cofounders of Dynamic Marketing Group — to which DMG Entertainment belongs — is the son of a former Chinese People’s Liberation Army leader.

They expressed concern that Dynamic Marketing Group’s ties with China would affect content presented on the network.

A story published yesterday by Chinese-language Next Magazine said that DMG Entertainment is represented by Lee, Tsai and Partners, which was founded by Tsai and her husband.

Tsai is in charge of overseeing the commission’s operations at the Cabinet level, the magazine said, which appeared to be a major conflict of interest.

Commission spokesperson Yu Hsiao-cheng (虞孝成) said that it handles every case based on the law and professionalism, adding that there was more than one buyer interested in acquiring EBC.

“For DMG Entertainment and other groups wanting to know the regulations to follow for acquiring one of the nation’s television channels, the commission is willing to explain the rules to them without any preferential treatment,” Yu said, adding that DMG Entertainment has yet to submit any application regarding the transaction.

Yu said that Tsai’s interaction with the commission is also within the parameters of the law.

He said the commission, as an independent agency, has never done anything improper, adding that the public should not be concerned about Tsai’s possible intervention in the deal.

Representative of New York-based private equity firm DE Shaw & Co also met with NCC Secretary-General Jason Ho (何吉森) to learn about the regulations governing the acquisition of media outlets.

In other commission news, officials confirmed that Taiwan Mobile has dropped out of the auction for frequency blocks in the 2,500 megahertz to 2,600 megahertz block after giving up its right to bid four times.

The nation’s second-largest telecom carrier entered the bidding for the frequencies on Tuesday last week with four other 4G carriers.

Taiwan Mobile said in a statement that the auction prices “have far exceeded its estimates,” adding that it decided to drop out after determining that it still “has sufficient frequency to meet the growth of 4G users in the next three to five years.”

As of yesterday, the total of the bidding fund in all frequency blocks had topped NT$22.72 billion (US$695.93 million), about 57 percent higher than the minimum bidding fund.

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