Malaysia Competition Commission imposes $20 million fine on Grab for violating competition law

MyCC has imposed a daily penalty of 15,000 ringgit starting from today for as long as Grab fails “to take remedial actions as directed by the commission in addressing the competition concerns”.

On Thursday, Malaysia’s competition regulator proposed to levy a fine of $20.53 million (86 million ringgit)

on ride-hailing firm Grab for violating the country’s competition law by imposing restrictive clauses on its drivers.

In a ruling the Malaysia Competition Commission (MyCC) stated, Singapore-based SoftBank Group Corp-backed Grab, had abused its dominant position in the local market by preventing its drivers from promoting and providing advertising services for its competitors.

“MyCC further notes that the restrictive clauses had the effect of distorting competition in the relevant market that is premised on multi-sided platforms by creating barriers to entry and expansion for Grab’s existing and future competitors,” said MyCC Chairman Iskandar Ismail at a news conference.

MyCC has also imposed a daily penalty of 15,000 ringgit starting from Thursday for as long as Grab fails “to take remedial actions as directed by the commission in addressing the competition concerns”.

Grab did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Iskandar stated, Grab will have 30 working days to make their representations to the commission before a final decision will be made.

In March 2018, following Grab’s acquisition of Uber Technologies Inc’s Southeast Asian business, MyCC had stated, it would monitor Grab for possible anti-competitive behavior.

Malaysia is the third country in the region to penalize Grab after the deal with Uber.

Under Malaysia’s Competition Act, a monopoly or dominant player in the market is not an infringement of the law, unless it abuses its position in the market.

“MyCC does not have mergers powers. We cannot unscramble the egg,” said Iskandar.

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