ANTITRUST

Malaysia Regulator To Rule On Grab Anti-Competition Probe

Malaysia Regulator To Rule On Grab Anti-Competition Probe

The Malaysia Competition Commission (MyCC) has launched a probe against ride-hailing firm Grab and will soon arrive at a decision about the matter, Reuters reported on Wednesday (Oct. 2).

A resolution will be made on Thursday (Oct. 3) about whether the MyCC finds Grab to be anti-competitive.

Watchdog officials started monitoring the Singapore-based Grab last year after it acquired the Southeast Asian operations of Uber, which was its main competitor.

Singapore and the Philippines both levied penalties against Grab and Uber over competition concerns.

Bloomberg reported on Sept. 24 that MyCC CEO Iskandar Ismail said “the commission was stepping up investigations following multiple complaints about monopolistic practices since last year.”

Grab cooperated with the commission and has not been informed of any breach of competition laws since the March 2018 acquisition, a spokeswoman for the company told Bloomberg.

Iskandar noted that his commission has been getting more requests from state agencies and private companies about how to detect “bid-rigging and other anti-competitive practices.”

The ride-hailing app turned financial services ecosystem serves 650 million people living in Southeast Asia. Grab Founder Anthony Tan recognized the frictions associated with getting a taxi in his home country of Malaysia and set out to change the dynamics of that business. He did that, among other things, by offering mobile phones to taxi drivers and by creating a better business model.

Grab has moved, or plans to move, into such areas as food delivery, insurance, lending and digital payments via GrabPay and Grab Wallets – an effort similar to Uber Cash, part of Uber’s own payments and commerce ecosystem.

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