Grab Takes Competition Regulator To Court Over Its Proposed Fine Of RM86 Million

The ride-hailing giant claims MyCC exhibited apparent bias during its investigation.

Cover image via Reuters

In October last year, the Malaysia Competition Commission (MyCC) proposed a fine of RM86.8 million against Grab

MyCC alleged that the ride-hailing giant abused its dominant position in the local market and imposed restrictive policies on its drivers, therefore harming competition in the e-hailing market.

Now the Singapore-based company is taking MyCC to court

According to a Malaysiakini report, Grab Inc together with its related corporate entities GrabCar Sdn Bhd and MyTeksi Sdn Bhd has filed a leave application for judicial review, through Messrs Shanthi Kandiah Chambers, at the Kuala Lumpur High Court Registry.

Grab has filed a writ of certiorari, by which there can be a judicial review of MyCC's decision.

The company is seeking among others to quash MyCC's proposed decision in which it alleged that the ride-hailing platform violated Malaysia's Competition Act 2010.

Image via Malaysiakini

Grab claims that MyCC exhibited apparent bias during its investigation

According to the Malaysiakini report, Grab claimed that in the course of MyCC's investigation, the regulator did not specify the basis of its belief on how GrabCar and MyTeksi, collectively known as Grab Malaysia, had contravened Section 10 (1) of the Competition Act.

Additionally, Grab said that MyCC did not give the ride-hailing firm adequate notice that it was under investigation and that it did not inform the company about the nature of the alleged violation.

According to Grab, MyCC was pre-determined about its decision and this is supported by the fact that the regulator was effectively "the investigator, prosecutor, and the judge in its own cause".

Based on which, Grab said that it was almost impossible for MyCC to conduct a fair and impartial investigation and conclusion, reported Malaysiakini.

A hearing date has been set for 9 March this year

Lawyer Lim Chee Wee of Skrine Advocates & Solicitors, the firm representing MyCC, told The Edge Markets that the date has been fixed at the request of the Attorney General's Chamber.

"At the request of the Attorney-General's Chamber officer, the hearing of Grab's application for leave to challenge MyCC's proposed decision is now fixed for 9 March before Justice Datuk Nordin Hassan," the lawyer was quoted as saying by the business paper earlier today, 12 February.

Meanwhile, in an email to SAYS, a Grab spokesperson said that the company is looking forward to participating in the hearing on 9 March

"There remain questions and doubts over MyCC's approach and investigation process in making the proposed decision, and the manner in which it exercises its powers," the Grab spokesperson said.

"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 full and frank disclosure of facts for the judicial review.

"Amongst 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 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," read the statement emailed to SAYS.

"This has led to the public misperception that Grab has been found liable even before a final decision is made. Grab has fully cooperated with MyCC to date, and will continue to respect the process laid out in the Competition Act 2010."

Read about MyCC's proposed fine here:

On the other hand, if you have noticed that extra money was deducted from your account when you first started using it, here's why:

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