Grab Malaysia goes to court over proposed fine of RM86.77m by MyCC

Grab Malaysia is going to court over the proposed decision by Malaysia Competition Commission (MyCC) to fine the company RM86.77 million for allegedly abusing its dominant position by imposing restrictive clauses on drivers.

Grab’s spokesperson told A+M in a statement that among the issues Grab seeks to raise is whether MyCC is entitled, when issuing the proposed decision, to impose a daily penalty of RM15,000 commencing with immediate effect from 23 September, the date of the proposed decision.

“MyCC has also seen it fit to announce the proposed fine and penalty by the way of a press statement dated 3 October 2019. This has led to public misperception that Grab has been found liable even before a final decision is made,” Grab’s spokesperson added.

According to the spokesperson, there remains questions and doubts over MyCC’s approach and investigation process in making the proposed decision, and the manner in which it exercises its powers. “We hope that through the judicial review, the High Court will fully examine and provide the much needed clarity for the wider business community. It offers a valuable opportunity for questions of public importance to be determined, and Grab stands ready to provide a full and frank disclosure of facts for the judicial review,” the spokesperson added.

Grab has fully cooperated with MyCC to date, and will continue to respect the process laid out in the Competition Act 2010, its spokesperson told A+M, adding that it has submitted the written representation to MyCC in December 2019, and will continue to participate in the oral representation as and when MyCC calls for it. The scheduled leave hearing is on 9 March.

Last year, Grab said it complied fully with the Competition Act 2010 and was surprised by the RM86.77 million fine proposed by MyCC for allegedly breaching the act. The restrictive clauses supposedly imposed on drivers allegedly prevented them from offering and promoting advertising services to its competitors and the transit media advertising market.

The ride-hailing company previously said it believes that it is common practice for businesses to decide upon the availability and type of third party advertising on their respective platforms, tailored according to consumers’ needs and feedback.

It also previously defended its acquisition of Uber, explaining that it proceeded with the matter in the good faith belief that the acquisition will create more efficiencies and benefits for the public in the ride-hailing sector. It added that Grab plays a complementary role in the entire public transportation ecosystem in Malaysia, most often serving the first-mile-last-mile needs of commuters to and from public transit.

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