Bangkok – Ordered to pay 94 billion baht (US$2.67 billion) within 45 days of the Supreme Court ruling, Thailand’s only privately-owned station iTVcould face bankruptcy. Its appeal was lost against the May 2006 ruling revoking the company’s rights to reduced concession fees and its replacement of news and educational programming with entertainment breaching the requirements of iTV’s original broadcasting licence. The concession fees had been waived under former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s administration. Owned by Singapore’s Temasek Holdings, iTV’s shares fell dramaticallyand experts say the station will return to state control. ITV’s predicament worsened Temasek’s position as its purchase of a stake in ITV’s parent company Shin Corp is already under investigation by the interim Thai government, examining foreign ownership levels and the use of nominee companies.
Court ruling could bankrupt Thailand’s iTV
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