Grab to ask PCC to reconsider P12-M fine

MANILA, Philippines – Grab Philippines announced on Friday, it would file a motion for reconsideration with the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) over the P12-million fine the antitrust body imposed on the company over its acquisition of Uber operations here.

In a statement, Miguel Aguila, Grab Philippines lead legal counsel, said, “We respectfully disagree with PCC’s decision. Grab completed the transaction [with Uber] legally, and did not violate the interim measures order [of the PCC].”

The PCC imposed P16 million ($296,741) worth of penalties on Grab Philippines for failing to maintain operations before it acquired Uber.

The fine was P12 million ($222,586) for Grab and P4 million ($74,195) for Uber for causing “undue difficulties” to the review being conducted by the PCC on their merger.

The PCC left it to the two firms how they would settle the penalty.

“During the review of the deal, we worked closely with the PCC and explained the market conditions that affected the interim measures,” Grab’s Aguila said.

The PCC is penalizing Grab for supposedly failing to keep its pre-Uber acquisition prices and quality of service, to keep operations separate with Uber, and to suspend Uber’s assumption of board seat in Grab.

Aguila said Grab’s “fare and surge rates remained within the LTFRB-approved range.” He also said the deal giving Uber equity stake and board seat was already consummated before the PCC issued its order outlining interim measures.

“Grab and Uber operations in the Philippines remained separate and without any integration nor was there automatic transfer of passenger and drivers data. Grab did not take over Uber operations and did not do anything to violate the interim measures after it was put into effect,” the Grab lawyer said.

PCC Chairman Arsenio Balisacan said the commission has yet to receive a copy of Grab’s motion for reconsideration. –