Malaysia Plans To Fine Grab RM86 Million For Abusing Its Dominant Market Position

Grab has 30 days to present their defence.

Cover image via Reuters

Grab is facing a RM86.8 million fine after the Malaysia Competition Commission (MyCC) found that the e-hailing service company breached the Competition Act 2010

MyCC ruled that Singapore-based Grab had abused its dominant position in the local market by imposing restrictive policies that prevented its drivers from promoting and providing advertising services to its competitors.

According to New Straits Times, this had harmed competition in the e-hailing market, discouraging new market entry and expansion for Grab's existing and future competitors.

Image via Reuters

However, MyCC chief executive officer Iskandar Ismail stressed that this was merely a proposal and not the final decision

MyCC has imposed a daily penalty of RM15,000 that begins today, 3 October, should Grab fail to take remedial actions as directed by the commission in addressing the competition concerns.

"They have 30 days to present their defence and until then, the penalty of RM15,000 will run continuously," said Ismail in a press conference this morning, reported The Star.

He also said that once the defence is made, there is a possibility for the fine to increase or decrease.

Image via Reuters/CNA

In response to the proposal, Grab has said that they are surprised by the proposed decision

"We believe 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," said a Grab spokesperson in a press release.

While currently heeding legal counsel, they said that they will be submitting their written representations by 27 November.

Following its acquisition of Uber in March 2018, Grab has been under monitor by the MyCC for possible anti-competitive behaviour

Last September, Singapore fined both Grab and Uber a total of SGD13 million (RM39 million) saying that the merger drove prices up, according to CNA.

The Philippines fined them 16 million pesos (RM1 million) a month later, criticising the firms for completing the merger too soon and for a dip in service quality.

Grab has been under immense scrutiny since the Grab-Uber merger: