PCC slaps Grab, Uber with P16-M fine for violating merger provisions

 

MANILA, Philippines — Ride-hailing service firms, Uber and Grab are facing penalties anew over its merger deal.

The Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) has fined Grab Philippines and Uber a total of P16 million for allegedly violating key provisions of the interim measures order (IMO) during the merger review period of the anti-trust body.

The IMO was issued to the parties to maintain pre-transaction conditions to prevent actions that may prejudice the ability of the PCC to review or impose appropriate remedies.

The PCC explained that the imposition of the fine is due to the failure of the two firms to keep their operations separate pending the approval of their merger deal.

In a breakdown provided by the anti-trust body, Grab PH and Uber are ordered to pay P4 million for executing their agreement even during the review period.

Grab was also fined with P8-million while Uber with four million for failing to maintain the pre-merger business conditions.

“Dahil sa pagcomply nila sa LTFRB order ay kinailangan naming i-reduce ang fines ng Uber which is why makikita natin eight millon po ang na impose sa Grab pero para sa uber naman ay four million pesos lamang,” said PCC Commisioner Stella Quimbo.

Grab and Uber merged their operations on March 25. The anti-trust body launched a motu propio review on the merger on April 3 and three days later, the agency issued the seven interim measure for Grab and Uber.

The PCC also noted that Grab Philippines and Uber violated two of the seven interim measures. Ten counts of violations were detected on two of the conditions set for the merger.

Under the Philippine Competition Act, a P2 million maximum fine will be imposed on every particular violation on its provisions.

“This establishes the fact that PCC has its own jurisdiction and mandate when it comes to competition-related concerns,” said PCC Commissioner Johannes Bernabe.

The PCC warned that if the two firms fail to comply within 45 days, they will have to pay a fine of P16 million each day.

In response, Grab PH said in a statement that they will study the order before giving further comments. — Mon Jocson | UNTV News & Rescue

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