Grab faces fresh P16 million fine over pricing, driver cancellations

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 18 2019 10:23 AM | Updated as of Dec 18 2019 06:55 PM

MANILA - (UPDATE) The country's antitrust body said Wednesday it fined ride-hailing firm Grab by another P16.15 million for violating its commitments from May to August.

The total fines include P14.15 million over "extraordinary deviation on its pricing commitment" and P2 million for exceeding driver cancellations at 7.76 percent instead of 5 percent, the Philippine Competition Commission said in a statement.

Grab said it would disburse the P14.15 million to the GrabPay wallets of those who took rides from May 11 to Aug. 10 not later than Feb. 10, 2020. The additional P2 million penalty due to driver cancellation will be paid directly to the PCC, it said in a statement.

"The ride-hailing market has seen profound changes in the past year as a result of Grab’s acquisition of Uber. With the commitments in place, PCC aims to maintain pre-transaction market conditions and will discipline any tendency to exercise monopolistic power with corresponding penalties," said PCC Chair Arsenio Balisacan.

The PCC did not stop Grab's acquisition of Uber after Grab volunteered "commitments" to ensure fair market play. The fines were based on compliance with the commitments.

A total of P23 million in fines were imposed in November for pricing and other commitment violations. At least P5 million in "excess charges" should be returned to consumers in the form of rebate, the PCC earlier said. 

Grab Philippines earlier said it did not overcharge based on the matrix provided by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).

The PCC, however, said Grab was bound by its voluntary commitments which were "separate and independent" from the LTFRB matrix.

Grab signed a new set of voluntary commitments on Oct. 31 as a "continuing condition" for the PCC's clearance of its takeover of former rival Uber in 2018. 

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