Temasek seeks a review on monopoly case

The Jakarta Post

Temasek holdings Pte, the Singapore-based investment giant, has restarted its legal battle over allegations it had breached the country’s antimonopoly laws by registering a case review with the Supreme Court while insisting its innocence.

Late last year, the Supreme Court in principle upheld a decision by a lower court which ruled that Temasek was guilty of violating the antimonopoly law through its cross-ownership in the country’s two largest cell phone firms – PT Telkomsel and PT Indosat, as alleged by the Business Competition Supervisory Agency (KPPU).

The cross ownership, according to the KPPU, could have led to prices fixing.

Among the punishments that Temasek must bear is a fine of Rp 15 billion (about US$1.46 million), in addition that the company has had to relinquish ownership of one of the two companies.

The decision is actually no longer relevant as Temasek subsidiary Singapore Technologies Telemedia (STT) Pte has already sold its entire stake in Indosat to Qatar Telecom (QTel) in a deal worth $1.8 billion.

Temasek now only indirectly owns Telkomsel, through Singapore Telecommunications Ltd (SingTel), another of its subsidiaries. It controls a 54 percent stake in SingTel, which in turn owns 35 percent of Telkomsel.

Still, despite no longer owning a stake in Indosat, thus clearing them of the cross-ownership allegation, Temasek would continue to defend its position and continue to seek justice to clear its name of any alleged antimonopoly infringement, according to Todung Mulya Lubis, Temasek’s lawyer,.

“Temasek believes that the court can once more thoroughly examine our evidence and prove the company’s innocence,” Todung said Monday.

He however refused to elaborate on what new evidence the company has to back up its case.

Findings of new evidence are a prerequisite before registering a Supreme Court case review.

Temasek believes the previous courts had misinterpreted the anti monopoly law.

“Temasek has never given instructions to subsidiaries regarding the managements of Telkomsel and Indosat. So it cannot be considered as monopolistic (in fixing prices),” said Todung.

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