Competition law and policy play a vital role in the process of privatization and liberalization in the business market as it serves as an indispensable tool in ensuring the competitiveness between companies. In Malaysia, the Malaysia Competition Commission (MyCC) is responsible for competitive activities.
Recently, the agency was seen in action when it reportedly proposed a fine of more than $20.53 million on Grab, a Singapore-based transportation network company, on account of violating the Malaysian competition law.
According to the agency, Grab imposed restrictive clauses on the company’s drivers. The Malaysia Competition Commission (MyCC) stated that Grab had restricted its drivers from providing and promoting advertising services for its competitors.
MyCC Chairman Iskandar Ismail stated that the company’s restrictive clauses had the effect of distorting competition for the local market by not allowing Grab’s future and current competitors in the market.
According to the sources, the competition regulator also imposed a daily fine of 15,000 ringgit on the company until it takes remedial actions as directed by the commission to address the concerns. Iskandar stated that Grab has 30 working days to make representations to the commission. After that, the final decision would be made.
He added that Malaysian regulator’s investigation was based on complaints which the agency received against Grab, and not due to its dominance in the market after the deal.
Earlier in 2018, MyCC had announced that it will keep an eye on Grab for anti-competitive behavior after its deal with Uber’s Southeast Asian business on March 2018. However, Uber as well Grab were both penalized last year by competition regular in the Philippines and Singapore for their merger.
According to the Singapore competition regulator, the deal had surged up prices, while the Philippines criticized Grab for overall downgrade in the quality of its service and for finalizing the merger too soon.