We abided by the rules, why impose RM86.7mil fine? says Grab

PETALING JAYA: E-hailing company Grab is taken aback by MyCC’s proposed RM86.7mil fine against it, insisting that it has complied with competition laws.

“We are surprised,” the Singapore-based company said via a statement yesterday.

“While our legal counsels are studying the proposed decision, we believe 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,” wrote the Grab spokesman.

The Malaysia Competition Commission proposed the fine against Grab Inc, Grab Car Sdn Bhd and MyTeksi Sdn Bhd (Grab) for breaching the Competition Act 2010.

A daily penalty of RM15,000 has also been imposed.

Malaysia E-Hailing Drivers Association (MeHDA) president Daryl Chong welcomed MyCC’s move.

“We want action to be taken against them. We also want the details to be made public.

“We hope they (Grab) will change and treat their so called ‘partners’ better,” he said.

Chong said MyCC should be stern and also not allow for any U-turn to its decision.

MyCar founder and director Mohd Noah Maideen also welcomed MyCC’s decision.

He also appealed to the Government to not allow e-hailing applications to have the “Auto Accept” function.

“This opens up room for more abuse to the drivers,” he said.

MCA Civil Society Coordination Bureau chief Ng Kian Nam concurred, saying the proposed fine was lenient. However, he said MyCC’s action came too slow.

Ng, who has been trying to help a group of e-hailing drivers who were allegedly terminated without proper notice or reason, said Grab, which controls 80% of the domestic market since last year, implemented a series of adverse conditions in the name of gig economy that infringed on the basic rights of its drivers.

“This includes engaging them as driver-partners in the flexible gig economy but imposed strict controls.

“We have received many complaints from drivers,” he said.

He said the Transport Ministry should allow another e-hailing giant, Indonesian based Gojek, to enter the Malaysian market as soon as possible to ensure long-term and conducive fair competition.

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