SingTel – BT

SingTel, STT file appeals in Jakarta

They’re fighting lower court decision that they broke anti-monopoly law

SINGAPORE Telecommunications and sister company Singapore Technologies Telemedia (STT) yesterday filed their respective appeals with Indonesia’s Supreme Court against a lower court decision that they broke the country’s anti- monopoly law.

Parent Temasek Holdings had on Wednesday filed its appeal with the Supreme Court against the ruling of the District Court of Central Jakarta which upheld the KPPU findings.

KPPU, Indonesia’s business competition watchdog, had said that Temasek and its affiliates had violated antitrust laws in their cross-ownership of the country’s two biggest telcos.

Temasek has an indirect stake in PT Telkomsel through SingTel, which owns 35 per cent of the telco.

Separately, Temasek’s wholly owned subsidiary STT holds a 40 per cent stake in Indosat, the second-largest telco, through its unit Asia Mobile Holdings.

The court had set a 12-month deadline for Temasek and its affiliates to give up one of the stakes in one of the telcos or cut their shareholdings in the two telcos by half.

A SingTel spokeswoman said yesterday that the court’s decision was wrong and without any credible basis.

‘We maintain that the decision by KPPU is wrong and is not supported by law or adequate evidence,’ she said.

SingTel and wholly owned SingTel Mobile do not own majority shares in any Indonesian company, she said.

SingTel Mobile is only a minority investor in Telkomsel and does not control its operations.

Telkomsel is majority- owned and controlled by PT Telkom, she said.

STT in a statement said that ‘contrary to the District Court’s decision, STT is not part of a ‘single economic entity’ with Temasek Holdings and SingTel, as it acts independently’.

STT, which acquired its Indosat shares from the Indonesian government following an invitation to participate in a privatisation in 2002, has never held a majority of shares in Indosat, the company said.

‘It has never assumed a dominant position to charge Indonesian consumers excessive prices, as tariffs are regulated by the Indonesian authorities and determined by the operators,’ it said.

Goh Yong Siang, Temasek Holdings managing director, strategic relations, said that Temasek has not broken any laws and will vigorously contest all allegations against it.

‘We fully respect the laws of Indonesia and hope that all our legal rights will likewise be respected,’ said Mr Goh.

‘As a long-term investor in Asia, we believe a just and impartial resolution of disputes is in the longer- term interest of Asia’s developing economies and her people. It is in this spirit that we intend to exercise all rights and remedies available to us for the orderly resolution of disputes.’

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