Taiwan’s Investment Commission has suspended its review of the planned acquisition of cable-TV operator China Network Systems (CNS) by a Morgan Stanley unit and Far EasTone Telecommunications until the National Communications Commission (NCC) re-examines the case, the Taipei Times reported.

The NCC and the Fair Trade Commission approved the acquisition more than eight months ago. But the deal, which would give Morgan Stanley Private Equity Asia (MSPEA) a $2.38 billion stake in CNS, still requires Investment Commission’s approval.

Far EasTone, the country’s third largest operator and eager to expand into the digital content space, agreed with MSPEA to subscribe to non-convertible corporate bonds valued at TWD17.12 billion ($539 million), which would make the operator the largest investor.

Investment Commission executive secretary Emile Chang said commission members have concerns that Far EasTone might indirectly take control of CNS if the acquisition is approved, given the funding structure, the newspaper reported.

The commission alleges that Far EasTone has attempted to evade media restrictions since its shareholders include government investment funds and regulations prohibit investments in media outlets by the government, political parties and the military.

The Times quoted Chang as saying: “The details of the planned investment could not convince commission members to approve the case.” She added that the NCC should review the case to dispel the doubts surrounding the deal.

Far EasTone said it was shocked by the rejection. “The deal has been under the scrutiny of the NCC for the past year. We do not understand why the Investment Commission rejected the deal and handed it back to the NCC,” the operator commented in a statement.

The company said the commission must have mistakenly assumed it could control CNS by holding MSPEA corporate bonds, but it is not allowed to convert the bonds into MSPEA shares according to their agreement, Far EasTone said.