Anti-trust body slaps Grab ₱6.5-M fine for insufficient fare data

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 25) — Ride-hailing service Grab Philippines is facing another set of penalty-- this time for submitting "inaccurate" and "inconsistent" data on its operations.

The Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) on Friday confirmed to CNN Philippines that it fined Grab ₱6.5 million for submitting insufficient data on fare monitoring.

PCC Commissioner Amabelle Asuncion said Grab committed to submit data on pricing behavior after it got clearance for the merger with Uber in August 2018.

Part of the company's voluntary commitment to the antitrust body is that its pricing behavior should remain unchanged despite the merger.

"Based doon sa review ng ating third party monitor, kulang kulang po kasi yung mga naisubmit nilang data," Asunscion said in an interview with CNN Philippines' Balitaan.

[Translation: Based on the reviews of our third party monitory, what they submittered were insufficient data.]

"Noong sinubmit nila, kulang kulang po ang mga ito, yung iba ay inaccurate or inconsistent."

[Translation: When they submitted, the information were incomplete, the others were inaccurate or inconsistent.]

"Kaya napalitan na po kami ng magpataw ng fine," Asuncion added.

[Translation: That's why we were forced to issue a fine.]

It was not clear why the penalty amounted to ₱6.5 million.

The PCC earlier imposed seven conditions for Grab upon clearance of the merger. It said violations can result in fines up to ₱2 million per offense.

READ: Anti-trust body clears Grab-Uber merger subject to service, price conditions

The anti-trust body said Grab is required to pay their dues five days after receipt of the order.

"They are required to pay the fine at the same time meron din po kaming requirement doon sa order na 'yun na i-submit pa rin 'yung mga kulang na datos," Asuncion said.

[Translation: They are required to pay the fine at the same time, we have a requirement in that order for them to submit the lacking data.]

She said Grab can still appeal the fine.

The anti-trust body in October 2018 slapped Grab with a ₱4 million penalty for failing to maintain separate operations with Uber before the approved merger. The ride-hailing firm was also fined an additional ₱8 million for failure to comply with price and incentive policies.

Why maximum penalty?

Grab meanwhile said it will file a motion for reconsideration for PCC's penalty.

"While we fully respect the PCC and its mandate, Grab will file a motion for reconsideration for PCC's penalty," Grab said in a statement Friday.

The company said its officials were "working under very limited timelines" to meet the anti-trust body's deadline.

"During the Voluntary Commitment negotiations, Grab recommended various ways to present the requested data based on how the system can best provide them. Given enough time, we can reconcile our data structure with theirs," the statement read.

The firm also questioned the value of the imposed penalty, given that the PCC earlier set a ₱2 million fine per violation.

Grab also assured passengers that its pricing behavior and fare changes are being monitored by transport authorities.