Temasek Loses Final Indonesia Antitrust Breach Appeal

Temasek Holdings Pte. lost a final appeal against an Indonesian ruling that the Singapore state-owned company breached anti-monopoly laws, Indonesia’s Supreme Court said today on its Web site.

The same court in September 2008 rejected a previous appeal and upheld a judgment by Indonesia’s competition regulator KPPU that Temasek breached antitrust laws by using indirect stakes in PT Telekomunikasi Selular, known as Telkomsel, and PT Indosat, Indonesia’s top two mobile-phone service providers, to fix prices. The Central Jakarta district court first ruled in KPPU’s favor in May 2008.

“The judicial review panel basically strengthened the previous Supreme Court ruling against the appeal,” KPPU spokesman Junaidi Masjhud said today in an e-mailed statement. The ruling is “a valuable push for KPPU to continue creating healthy business competition in the telecommunications industry,” he said.

KPPU hasn’t received a copy of the ruling, Masjhud said.

Goh Yong Siang, Temasek’s senior managing director for strategic relations, said today the company had received no official notification from the Supreme Court.

Temasek added in a statement that it will consider all legal options including taking the case to international arbitration if Indonesia’s courts don’t rule in its favor. Perry Cornelius, Temasek’s lawyer in Indonesia, couldn’t be reached for comment.

Temasek’s Singapore Technologies Telemedia Pte Ltd unit sold its stake in Indosat, Indonesia’s second largest mobile-phone services provider, to Qatar Telecom QSC in June 2008 after the district court ruling came out.

A unit of Singapore Telecommunications Ltd., Southeast Asia’s biggest phone operator which is majority owned by Temasek, has a 35 percent stake in Telkomsel, the company with the biggest customer base among Indonesia’s 11 mobile-phone carriers.