Regulator Suspects Cartel Behind PCR Bundling Tests

Summary

Indonesia’s Business Competition Supervisory Commission (KPPU) is investigating allegations of unfair business competition in the COVID-19 rapid test business involving polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests. KPPU's Director of Economics Mulyawan Ranamanggala revealed unidentified parties wanting to profit from the PCR test. One of them is bundling or combining the service with a PCR test. "There are indications that they want to maximize profits," Mulyawan explained on Friday.

KPPU has identified two ways for PCR test providers in maximizing profits and causing unfair business competition, namely:

  1. A doctor's consultation. It will definitely increase almost twice the cost of the PCR test. As a result, the PCR test’s function shifts from tracing COVID-19 patients into a profit-oriented business.
  2. Providing express facilities to people who need fast PCR test results. The comparison between the speeds of test results from one laboratory to another creates unfair business competition. As a result, consumers have to pay more.

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