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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs    6 January 2011

Oil firms fined over collusion in Indonesia

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The national anti-monopoly regulator on Wednesday penalized four oil and gas companies, including state-run Pertamina, for breaching regulations.

The Business Competition Supervisory Commission (KPPU) said in a statement that Japan’s Mitsubishi had colluded with consortium members Pertamina, Medco Energy International and Medco E&P to win a bid to develop the Donggi-Senoro gas block in Central Sulawesi.

Nawir Messi, a KPPU member, said the total fine for the four companies was Rp 31 billion ($3.44 million).

“We’ve proven that Mitsubishi conspired with Pertamina and Medco Energy to rig the contest, making Mitsubishi the tender winner. This is a practice of unhealthy business competition,” Nawir said on Wednesday.

He also said Mitsubishi had illegally obtained classified information on its rival for the $4 billion project, Australia-based gas company LNG International.

The KPPU fined Mitsubishi Rp 15 billion, Pertamina Rp 10 billion, Medco Energy Rp 5 billion and Medco E&P Rp 1 billion.

The consortium won the tender in 2006.

Mitsubishi holds a 51 percent stake, with Pertamina owning 29 percent and Medco and its subsidiary controlling the rest.

LNGI filed a complaint with the KPPU after losing the bid.

“The KPPU’s decision is unfair, and it will hamper the investment climate in Indonesia,” Pertamina spokesman Mochamad Harun said.

“We will fight against the decision.’’

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