Tue, 13 Oct 2009
From: The Jakarta Globe
By Teguh Prasetyo
Cinema operator Blitzmegaplex on Monday urged the Business Competition Supervisory Commission to take further action in response to a report Blitz submitted in June alleging that cinema giant Group 21 had monopoly control of domestic film distribution.

“The legal action should end unfair business competition in the country’s film industry,” Todung Mulya Lubis, a lawyer for Blitzmegaplex, told the Jakarta Globe. “By doing so, Blitzmegaplex and other rival cinema owners will get easy access to newly released local movies.”

Ahmad Junaidi, communications director for the antitrust watchdog, which is known as the KPPU, said the commission was due to reveal its findings on the case on Oct. 20.

The results were originally scheduled to be released by early September.

“We will decide whether there is enough evidence to proceed with a further legal investigation,” Junaidi said.

In its report, Blitzmegaplex alleged that Group 21, along with four distributors and six film production companies, was using its market power to control the domestic film distribution.

A Group 21 spokesperson declined to comment on Monday.

In response to Blitz’s report, the KPPU asked Blitz’s parent company, PT Graha Layar Prima, and Group 21 to submit all relevant documents related to their business contracts and other information about business operations connected to film distribution networks.

“We have already completed the supporting information required by the KPPU to back up our report with strong evidence that Group 21 and its affiliated companies exercise strict control over domestic film distribution,” Todung said.

The domination of film distribution networks by Group 21, he said, had created difficulties for Blitzmegaplex and other cinema companies.

According to Todung, many cinemas outside of the Group 21 distribution network had gone bankrupt because they had failed to obtain copies of local films.

Todung said he did not expect any further delays by the KPPU in announcing its findings.

He said Blitz had also found evidence that Group 21 had given some film producers special rights to show their films during the high season.

Todung said the lack of transparency in film distribution contracts by Group 21 and its affiliated companies put them in breach of the monopoly law.

Heru Widodo, a Blitz spokesman, said that from January to August, Blitz showed only 19 films out of 55 possible, due to limited access to distribution networks.



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