Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Grab slammed with $124K fine by Philippines for incorrect pricing data

Grab slammed with $124K fine by Philippines for incorrect pricing data

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A Grab motorbike driver speeds along a street in Jakarta, Indonesia on February 13, 2017.BEAWIHARTA/REUTERS/THE STAR (MALAYSIA)

Grab slammed with $124K fine by Philippines for incorrect pricing data

THE government’s antitrust body alleged Grab Philippines provided incorrect data about its pricing, thus impeding its review of whether or not the ride-hailing company has been addressing commuter woes since it took over Uber.

The Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) officials slapped the company with a 6.5 million peso ($123,926) fine, citing inconsistencies in Grab’s data about its pricing.

PCC chair Arsenio Balisacan alleged Grab submitted “deficient, inconsistent and incorrect data for the monitoring of its compliance with its voluntary commitments”.

Grab said it would file a motion for reconsideration.

Its takeover of the regional operations of its rival Uber in March last year made its business a virtual monopoly in the Philippines.

While this gave the company a stronger market power, many riders complained such advantage did not necessarily translate to better services as higher fares preyed on the traffic-weary public.

The PCC had flagged the deal and launched a review even as the deal pushed through. Months later, the antitrust body set this review aside after Grab agreed to “voluntary commitments,” whereby the company would be monitored by an independent trustee.

Balisacan said these commitments were made to address concerns on the company’s pricing behaviour and maintain service quality “in the absence of a significant competitive pressure in the market.”

“However, the commission cannot effectively enforce these commitments without the submission of correct, sufficient, consistent and timely data by Grab,” he said.

The PCC did not say how this would affect further actions in the future.

“We do not want to presume that this is going to be a continuing trend towards violating their undertaking,” PCC commissioner Johannes Bernabe said.

Then PCC commissioner Stella Quimbo had said the government could cancel the Grab-Uber deal “in an extreme situation where there would be a blatant disregard” of the commitments.

In a separate statement, Grab Philippines president Brian Cu said the company wanted to know why the fine reached 6.5 million pesos.

He said the PCC required Grab to submit data that covered the period after the transaction was made in March.

Given the nature and huge volume of data required, he said the company worked “under very limited timelines to meet PCC’s deadline”.

“During the voluntary commitment negotiations, Grab recommended various ways to present the requested data based on how the system can best provide them. Given enough time, we can reconcile our data structure with theirs,” he said.

“Three out of four penalties were set at a maximum amount of two million pesos each. Given the breakdown of the fines vis-a-vis the severity of the lapses alleged by the PCC, we would like to better understand PCC’s rationale for imposing a maximum penalty,” he added. PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER/ANN

MOST VIEWED

  • Two luxury hotels latest quarantine options for inbound travellers

    The Inter-Ministerial Committee to Combat Covid-19 has designated two luxury hotels as alternative quarantine options for travellers who wish to enter Cambodia through Phnom Penh International Airport – Sokha Phnom Penh Hotel & Residence and the Courtyard by Marriott Phnom Penh. In a notice detailing guidelines issued

  • Visa A holders get to quarantine at Himawari Hotel

    The Ministry of Health has permitted foreign diplomats, UN and International NGO officials to undergo quarantine at Himawari Hotel in the capital in case they do not have a separate place suitable for this purpose, but the government would not be responsible for the expenses.

  • Baby saved as mother is lost to Covid

    Newborn baby Neth David has had a rough start in the world. His mother, Vong Daneth, was seven months pregnant when she contracted a severe case of Covid-19. When it became clear to her doctors that she would not survive, they performed a cesarean section

  • Jabs for kids bring hope for school reopenings

    Cambodia is tentatively planning to reopen schools – at least at the secondary level – when the vaccination of children aged 12-17 is completed, even though daily transmissions and deaths in other age groups remain high. Schools across the country have been suspended since March 20, one month

  • Hun Sen: Get 12-17 age group ready for Covid jabs

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has told parents of children aged 12-17 in Phnom Penh and the provinces of Kandal and Preah Sihanouk to get them ready for vaccinations soon. “There is a need to vaccinate children and youths aged 12 to 17. According to the statistics provided

  • Covid rattles Phnom Penh’s retail landscape through H1

    The Covid-19 pandemic has rocked the retail landscape in Phnom Penh, with anxiety around infection risk keeping the masses away from shopping malls and driving retail consumption down by nearly five per cent in the first half of this year, compared to July-December 2020, according to