The National Communications Commission (NCC) of Taiwan has presented its framework for a legislative proposal drafted to prevent monopolies in the country’s broadcast industry and to ensure healthy competition in the media sector.
This announcement follows the Fair Trade Commission’s investigation into the sale of Hong Kong-owned Next Media Ltd’s Taiwanese operations to five potential buyers after protests from the Alliance Against Media Monopoly and the Association of Taiwan Journalists that the deal might result in a monopoly.
According to Taiwan Today, the proposed bill regulates the concentration of broadcast media ownership and cross-media monopolisation, safeguards news media professionalism and independence, promotes a diverse society and citizen autonomy, and integrates existing laws and government powers.
NCC Chairman Howard Shyr, who outlined the bill on February 6, told local media that under the proposed bill, broadcasting companies are required to apply to the NCC when they plan to merge with other businesses or make changes in their operations. He added that mergers that are deemed detrimental to public interest may be rejected, or approved with attached conditions such as stipulation that a certain channel be shut down, while mergers judged to be definitely harmful to the public interest would be prohibited outright.
The NCC said that members of the commission will review the proposal and hold public hearings after the Lunar New Year holidays.