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Grab Indonesia wins legal battle against competition watchdog

Written by Khamila Mulia Published on 

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The KPPU accused Grab Indonesia of offering preferential treatment to drivers in its rental program, but the case has been overturned by the South Jakarta district court.

Grab Indonesia has won a legal battle against the country’s business competition supervisory commission (KPPU) regarding alleged preferential treatment for drivers who rent cars via the Grab-affiliated company Teknologi Pengangkutan Indonesia (TPI).

The news was first conveyed by Hotman Paris Hutapea, a prominent lawyer who represents both Grab Indonesia and TPI, on his Instagram account on Saturday. Grab confirmed the report to KrASIA.

In a written statement received by KrASIA, Grab’s spokesperson said that the South Jakarta district court has ruled in favor of Grab’s appeal following KPPU’s decision that the firm violated article 14 and 19 (d) of law no. 5/1999 concerning the “prohibition of monopolistic practices and unfair business competition” relating to its partnership with TPI. On Friday, the court determined that the case has been dismissed as there is no violation and discrimination as stated in the law.

TPI is a car rental company that works with Grab Indonesia to offer several long-term car lease schemes, with the option for Grab drivers to gain ownership of the car after several years. KPPU alleged that Grab offered drivers under TPI’s rental schemes preferential treatment, which included tweaking its algorithm to allocate them more rides than other drivers.

The watchdog built the case after it received complaints from independent Grab drivers who are members of the Indonesian specialized transport organization in North Sumatra. They claimed having a disadvantage due to the unfair distribution of orders between TPI and non-TPI driver-partners. KPPU demanded the court to fine Grab Indonesia and TPI IDR 49 billion (USD 3.2 million).

Grab rejected any allegations related to unfair treatments. “Grab will always adhere to every applicable regulation and good business ethics and will remain committed to bring the benefits of cooperation to millions of Grab partners and users in Indonesia,” said the firm’s spokesperson. “We are confident that our operational activities in Indonesia are within the law and appropriate with the societal norms in the country.”

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