Grab could face possible investigation for abuse of dominance — Rep. Quimbo
Marikina 2nd district Representative Stella Quimbo said the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) has the power to investigate Grab Philippines regarding abuse of dominance.
This after the PCC confirmed during a congressional inquiry that Grab continues to overcharge its passengers despite its 2018 voluntary commitment not to overcharge.
In a DZMM interview last Friday, Quimbo, who used to chair the PCC, said that under the law, the PCC has the power to investigate Grab for abuse of dominance given its substantial market share in the TNVS industry.
“If you own at least 50% of the market shares, kunwari 51%, ikaw ay considered dominant. Ngayon, kung ‘yung pagka-dominante mo, pagka-dambuhala mo na kumpanya ay nagamit mo para ang ending ay overcharging, pwedeng pumasok ang PCC para imbestigahan,” Quimbo explained.
The Marikina lawmaker also stressed that companies proven guilty of abuse of dominance are slapped with stiff monetary penalties amounting to over a hundred million pesos.
Aside from this, Quimbo reiterated the powers of the PCC over mergers and acquisitions, one of which was the PCC’s capability to oppose the merger of two companies if findings would prove that the merger might result in overcharging.
“Yung mabigat na power ng PCC, pwede nilang sabihin, ‘Magbreak na kayo. Ipinagbabawal namin ang kasal ninyo.’ Pwede nilang gawin yun,” Quimbo said.
Last August, Grab publicly announced its acquisition of Move It’s business operations. Move It, a motorcycle-taxi hailing app, is one of the three companies privileged to be included in the government’s motorcycle taxi pilot program.
Several transportation and consumer groups expressed strong disapproval of the Grab-Move It acquisition, alleging that Grab was trying to circumvent government rules and regulations to get into the motorcycle taxi industry.
The groups also fear that the acquisition could lead to overpricing and overcharging in the motorcycle taxi industry — a sentiment that resonated with Quimbo.
The former PCC chair earlier expressed fears that the sale of Move It to Grab has the potential to end up like the 2018 acquisition of Uber by Grab which resulted in the latter dominating the TNVS industry and in effect, has raised fare prices.
With this, Quimbo called on the PCC to carefully monitor Grab’s potential dominance in the motorcycle taxi industry.
“Since nagkaroon ng ganung karanasan with respect to Grab sa TNVS, ang sinasabi ko baka naman magkaroon din ng ganyang ganap dito naman sa motorcycle taxi considering may potential sila to become dominant. Yun ang sinasabi ko na dapat pag-aralan ng PCC kasi sa ganitong sitwasyon, ang PCC talaga ang merong jurisdiction. Sila ang makakapagsabi kung magkakaroon nga ng problema. Sila ang nag a-assess nyan and in the end sila ang dapat mag step in. Meron silang powers under the law na sabihin, ‘Grab, Move It dapat maghiwalay muna kayo kasi magiging problema kayo in the future,’” Quimbo said.
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