Grab to take Malaysia competition watchdog to court over proposed fine

Photo: Grab's Facebook page

Southeast Asian ride-hailing startup Grab is set to contest in court an 86.77 million ringgit ($20.95 million) penalty proposed by Malaysia’s competition watchdog.

A Grab statement said the company has filed an application for leave to commence judicial review proceedings in the High Court of Malaysia over the fine proposed by the Malaysia Competition Commission (MyCC) in September last year.

MyCC had proposed the fine on Grab for violating the competition law by imposing restrictive clauses on its drivers. The regulator had ruled that the ride-hailing firm had abused its dominant position in the market by preventing its drivers from promoting and supplying advertising services for competitors.

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,” Grab said in a statement.

The Singapore-headquartered firm is also seeking to challenge MyCC’s authority to impose a daily penalty of 15,000 ringgit effective from the day it announced the proposed fine.

“MyCC has also seen it fit to announce the proposed fine and penalty by the way of a press statement dated October 3, 2019. This has led to public misperception that Grab has been found liable even before a final decision is made,” said Grab.

The ride-hailing company said it was hoping that the judicial review would pave the way for the Malaysian high court to fully examine and provide much-needed clarity for the wider business community.

“We hope that it offers a valuable opportunity for questions of public importance to be determined, and Grab stands ready to provide a full and frank disclosure of facts for the judicial review,” it added.

The hearing is scheduled for March 9.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.