December 20, 2017 / 8:08 AM / 5 months ago

Indonesia fines Danone affiliate $1 million for unfair business practices

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Indonesia’s anti-monopoly agency has imposed a $1 million fine on bottled water producer PT Tirta Investama, which is affiliated to French firm Danone, for resorting to unfair business competition practices.

The Indonesian Business Competition Supervisory Commission (KPPU) said it found PT Tirta Investama and PT Balina Agung Perkasa, a distributor of mineral water Danone-Aqua, punished two sub-distributors in 2016 for selling a rival product.

The agency said it had fined Tirta Investama 13.85 billion rupiah ($1 million) and Balina Agung 6.29 billion rupiah.

Aqua is the biggest bottled water brand in Indonesia. It competes with products owned by PT Indofood Sukses Makmur and PT Mayora Indah, among others.

Tirta Investama, in a separate statement, said it was disappointed with the decision and was studying its options regarding the ruling.

“We express our disappointment in particular because the facts, experts opinions and evidences presented during the tribunal proceedings made clear that the action in debate was by an individual, not by the company,” it said.

Earlier this year, Indonesian motorbike distributors, PT Astra Honda Motor and PT Yamaha Indonesia Motor Manufacturing, appealed a KPPU price-fixing ruling in a Jakarta court, but the court upheld KPPU’s decision this month.

Reporting by Bernadette Christina; Additional reporting and writing by Fransiska Nangoy

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