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Malaysia’s Competition Regulator Fines Grab for Abusive Business Practices

Malaysia’s competition regulator Thursday introduced a fine of over 86 million ringgit ($20.53 million) on ride-hailing agency Grab for dishonoring the nation’s competition legislation by requiring restrictive clauses on its drivers.

The Malaysia Competition Commission (MyCC) uttered that Singapore-based Grab, which has significant support from Japan’s SoftBank Group, had abused its dominant place in the local market by stopping its drivers from promoting and providing advertising services for its rivals.

MyCC further imposed a daily charge of 15,000 ringgit starting Thursday for as long as Grab does not “take remedial actions as directed by the commission in addressing the competitors’ concerns.”

Iskandar stated Grab has 30 working days to put their representations before the commission before an ultimate decision is made.

The regulator stated in 2018 it could monitor Grab for possible anti-competitive behavior after its acquisition of rival Uber Technologies’ Southeast Asian business in March 2018.

Malaysia would be the third nation in the area to penalize Grab after the agreement with Uber.

In 2018, both companies were charged by anti-trust watchdogs in Singapore and the Philippines for their merger. Singapore said the agreement had pushed up prices, while the Philippines criticized the companies for executing the deal too soon and for a dip in quality of service.

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