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The Malaysia Competition Commssion (MyCC) has proposed a RM86.8 million fine against Grab Inc, Grab Car Sdn Bhd and MyTeksi Sdn Bhd (Grab) for collectively breaching the Competition Act 2010, The Star reports.
An enterprise is prohibited from engaging, whether independently or collectively, in any conduct which amounts to an abuse of a dominant position under the Competition Act, although being a monopoly or a dominant player is not against the law, according to the New Straits Times.
MyCC had found after its investigations that Grab had abused its dominant position by imposing restrictive clauses on its drivers, preventing them from promoting and providing advertising services for Grab’s competitors in the e-hailing and transit media advertising market, said The Star.
MyCC CEO Iskandar Ismail also proposed a daily penalty of RM15,000 from the date of service – today – of the proposed decision should Grab fail to take remedial action 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,” Iskandar said.
“We have just completed investigations. This is a proposed decision, not final. Grab will have the opportunity to present its defence and then we will decide if there are infringements or not,” he said, adding that the final decision would be made after Grab representatives have presented their defence.
Once the defence has been made, the fine could either increase or decrease, and Iskandar also added that while MyCC does not have power against mergers, they can look into the after-effects of a merger. The agency, which is under the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry, is looking into amending the law to improve its authority over mergers, he said.
Iskandar said the investigation had already commenced following the merger between Grab and Uber in March 2018, which saw Uber gain a 27.5% stake in Grab in exchange for the sale of Uber’s Southeast Asian business to Singapore-based Grab, and Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi joined Grab’s board.
The Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) issued Grab a combined fine of US$9.5 million (RM39.3 million at the time) six months after that, and ordered Uber to sell vehicles from its local leasing business to any rival that makes a reasonable offer, while Grab was ordered to remove its exclusivity arrangements with drivers and taxi fleets.