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Malaysian court dismisses Grab’s request to review decision on USD 20.9 million fine

Grab prevents drivers from “promoting and providing advertising services for its competitors,” according to the Competition Commission.

Malaysia’s High Court yesterday dismissed Grab’s request to review the Malaysia Competition Commission (MyCC)’s proposed decision back in October 2019 to fine the ride-hailing giant USD 20.9 million for abusing its dominant position to prevent drivers from “promoting and providing advertising services for its competitors.”

According to a local media report, Grab’s application was considered “premature” and therefore dismissed. A spokesperson for Grab told KrASIA that the company will file for an appeal because “this is an issue of significant public importance not only for Grab, but also for the wider business community.”

Grab has repeatedly said that the company has fully complied with Malaysia’s Competition Act 2010 and that it is a common practice for “businesses to have a say on the availability and type of third-party advertising that appears alongside its service” to protect user experience.

Although this case in Malaysia is not related to the Grab-Uber merger, Grab is still entangled in several legal headaches across Southeast Asian countries due to its dominant position, following the merger.

Today in Ho Chi Minh City, Grab Vietnam is attending a hearing to appeal the decision coming out of its lengthy lawsuit between Grab and traditional taxi firm Vinasun.

The lawsuit, which has already lasted 18 months, was the first of its kind in Vietnam between a tech platform company—a disruptor—and a company whose business model was under existential threat. Grab was initially ordered to pay Vinasun VND 4.8 billion (USD 208,700) in damages.