Screening of cable TV buys urged


TAIPEI — Media watchdog groups urged the National Communications Commission (NCC) yesterday to adopt strict criteria to screen planned acquisitions of the country’s two largest cable TV operators by the Fubon Group and the Want Want Group.

According to the Campaign for Media Reform and Taiwan Media Watch, the acquisitions will allow the two business groups, which already have a significant presence in the media market, to further expand their control over the region’s broadcasting.

The NCC should seek to revise the existing laws to restrict such cross-media acquisitions, they said.

Fubon Financial Holding Co. Chairman Daniel Tsai and his brother, Taiwan Mobile Chairman Richard Tsai, are planning to acquire Kbro Co., Taiwan’s largest cable TV operator, via the recently established Da-fu Media, which was set up expressly for the purpose of the acquisition.

Meanwhile, the Want Want Group, which owns the China Times daily, CTiTV and China Television Co., intends to buy the second-largest TV operator — China Network Systems.

The acquisition of Kbro by the Tsai family was granted conditional approval by the Fair Trade Commission in October and is pending screening by the NCC.