Yesterday, it was discovered that the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) issued a PHP 9M fine to Grab for its inability to completely pay off its past users for overcharging. Now, the company has released an official statement on the matter. Read on it below.
For context, things mostly escalated when Grab took charge of Uber operations in the PH last 2018 and effectively became a monopoly when it comes to transport. As such, users have complained about overcharging and excessive fees due to the lack of competition. The PCC caught Grab overcharging customers and issued fines as early as 2019. However, they stated that most of the fines should be paid back to the users via some type of rebate or cashback program rather than returned to the government.
This amount has added up over the years, with the totals nearing the PHP 90M mark now thanks to the addition of PHP 9M yesterday. But it also appears that the company has been diligently paying off its dues, although they’ve spaced it out to ensure that the payment plan is financially feasible for the business to continue operations.
This is what Grab Philippines had to say about the recent development with the PCC:
“We are glad that the PCC has finally come to a decision on the disbursement mechanism for the remaining administrative fees – so we can put this matter to rest. At the same time, we are surprised at PCC’s decision to fine us – given that we’ve been proactively engaging with them for over a year with proposals for alternative mechanisms to disburse the remaining administrative fees.
Grab Philippines has always been 100% committed to fully depleting the unclaimed admin fees, and have made every effort we can to do so. We proposed alternative disbursement mechanisms and are surprised that the PCC made a decision in February 2023 without informing us – given that we’ve been regularly following up with them. Nevertheless, we will implement the order of the PCC for Alternative Refund Mechanism as required by the PCC Order.
As we have been forthcoming in explaining our legal position, and challenges to the PCC; and have been proactive in proposing alternative disbursement mechanisms, we will be evaluating our legal options regarding the PhP 9M fine.”
Based on this, it appears that there are some internal miscommunications that remain to be addressed. Regardless of what happens, we’re sure that Grab will remain to be an essential cornerstone of Philippine transport. We’ll keep you posted on any updates.