Since the late President Soeharto stepped down from power on May 1998, Indonesia has been forced by foreign creditors especially the IMF to adopt a liberal economy and prohibit business monopoly.
As a result, state owned companies that used to have monopoly on the sales of their products must allow other companies to compete with them in the business.
State owned companies like sole distributor of petroleum PT Pertamina must allow Shell, Total and, Petronas to sell their products directly to the consumers.
However, there is one business which is still monopolized by one business group i.e import and circulation of Hollywood film, which is done by by the Group-21 as owner of 570 out of the 676 screens in theaters all over Indonesia.
According to Associated Press, Hollywood film producers fully supported the Group-21, this can be seen from the fact that when the government imposed import duty on films, film makers like Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Century Fox Film, Universal Pictures and others stopped sending their films last February.
Even after the government revised the import duty regulation last June, Hollywood producers were reluctant to send films because Group-21 was challenging more than US$ 30 million unpaid levies and other penalties in Court. They only want to start sending the films again to Omega Film which is related to the Group-21.
Several weeks ago, the Customs office temporarily halt Omega Film's import license because there were allegations that it is related to Group-21.
Those Hollywood film producers cannot have their own distribution company here like in other countries because our investment law does not allow foreigner to invest on this kind of business.
I hope that the government and the fair business competition commission would seriously investigate the allegations that Group-21 have been monopolizing the import of films.
I also hope that film businessmen in Indonesia would import more films from Europe and Asia.