Grab to cooperate with govt on probe

A detailed monopoly risk study will be conducted in Malaysia, according to Transport Ministry

By LYDIA NATHAN / Pic By ISMAIL CHE RUS

Grab Malaysia is looking forward to working with the government and authorities following Transport Minister Anthony Loke’s announcement that a probe is underway on the e-hailing giant’s business practice after its acquisition of its competitor Uber.

The probe is similar to neighbouring country Singapore’s declaration that the merger could have broken competition law which led to an official investigation.

Singapore’s Competition and Consumer Commission recently said Grab’s acquisition of Uber’s operations in the city has led to a substantial lessening of competition, and the e-hailing firm had significantly increased prices since the deal went through.

Grab was caught unaware after Loke announced on Wednesday that a detailed monopoly risk study will be conducted in Malaysia, adding that he did not want any sector across the board to have a monopoly.

Grab said in a statement that it appreciates the government’s progressive stance in improving the quality and coverage of the public transport industry in Malaysia and that it would be “happy to engage with the authorities”.

“We have just been alerted of the regulatory suggestions and have yet to receive the formal operational directive. As part of the industry, we hoped that we, like other players in the market, were consulted earlier on as it does affect hundreds of thousands of drivers across the country,” Grab country head Sean Goh (picture) said.

There are currently 10 e-hailing companies in the country, recording approximately 18 million trips every month.

Grab stated that it would like to have an open dialogue with relevant authorities to clarify and smoothen the details on the new regulations.

“We look forward to actively engaging with the Minister of Transport and his team in an open dialogue to clarify and smoothen out the details of the new regulations to ensure minimal interruptions to our driver-partners, operations and processes,” Goh said.

Goh added that driver-partners will be assisted and kept updated on any changes and transitions as they affect their welfare and rice bowls.

“Given that we are doing everything that we can, we urge our driver-partners to bear with us as we engage with our government to better understand the regulations and work out the best solutions that will minimise the impact on them,” he said.

He reiterated how the driver-partners have remained the backbone of the community in providing the critical service of transporting people safely to their destinations.

“We are committed to working with our government to promote and encourage a balanced policy framework that levels out the playing field, and enables us to continue our mission of providing better and safer transport services, while improving the livelihood of our partners,” Grab added.