Grab PH fined P16.15-M for overpricing, excessive cancellations

The Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) has slapped a P16.15-million fine on Grab Philippines for violating its price and service quality commitments.

PCC announced on Wednesday that it is imposing a fine of P14.15 million for the ride-hailing company’s ”extraordinary deviation on its pricing commitment, and another P2 million for exceeding driver cancellations at 7.76 percent instead of the committed five percent.”

The PCC said Grab passengers who availed its services from May 11 to August 10, 2019 shall expect their rebate within two months via GrabPay credits.

Last month, the PCC ordered Grab to refund a total of P5.05 million to around three million passengers who booked rides through the ride-hailing app from February to May.

The PCC gave its assurance that the amount imposed on Grab will not be passed onto its drivers or riders.

“The ride-hailing market has seen profound changes in the past year as a result of Grab’s acquisition of Uber. With the commitments in place, PCC aims to maintain pre-transaction market conditions and will discipline any tendency to exercise monopolistic power with corresponding penalties,” said PCC Chairman Arsenio Balisacan.

In response, the ride-hailing company said that it respects the findings of PCC and will be refunding a total of P14.15 million to its riders.

“Grab Philippines respects the findings of the Philippine Competition Commission on its May 11 – August 10, 2019 monitoring, after the antitrust body identified certain deviations from Grab’s voluntary commitments which is caused by the lack of TNVS supply to service the steadily growing commuter demands, coupled with the worsening traffic situation,” Grab said in a statement.

“Grab will be disbursing the total computed administrative penalty of P14,150,000 to the GrabPay Wallets of those passengers who took Grab rides from May 11 to August 10, 2019 in compliance to the order of the PCC,” the company added.

Grab said that the rebate will begin “no later than Feb. 10, 2020” while the additional P2 million admin penalty in relation to the breach of committed driver cancellation rate will be paid to PCC.

“As the new monitoring year begins with the new system-wide average monitoring scheme, Grab is hopeful in fulfilling its commitments to the PCC. However, it highlights that as a platform, pricing will still be influenced by factors such as lack of supply, and the traffic situation,” Grab said.

Meanwhile, The STAR reported that the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) is set to meet with ride-hailing firms this week after complaints of expensive bookings fees during the Christmas season.

“The agency is at the forefront of ensuring public transportation remains safe, convenient and also affordable. We will look into this,” LTFRB chairman Martin Delgra III said yesterday in a statement.

Delgra said that according to the complaints they received, some transport network companies have started charging its riders with higher fees this month.

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