Ride-hailing firm Grab has decided not to appeal against an anti-competitive penalty, and will pay the $6.42 million fine imposed by the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore
Grab to pay anti-competition fine as it prepares for Go-Jek arrival Last month, the commission arrived at its verdict after six months of investigating Grab's takeover of rival Uber's South-east Asian business. PHOTO: ST FILE

Ride-hailing firm Grab has decided not to appeal against an anti-competitive penalty, and will pay the $6.42 million fine imposed by the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore last month.

Head of Grab Singapore Lim Kell Jay told The Straits Times on Monday (Oct 22) that the company had decided on this course of action despite disagreeing with parts of the commission's findings because it did not want to have the matter "drag on".

"There were a bunch of directions that were imposed, and there was a fine. We are planning not to appeal. We will adhere to all the directions set out, and we will pay the fine," Mr Lim said.

"We are glad this whole episode is over; and we can focus on serving our customers again."

Last month, the commission arrived at its verdict after six months of investigating Grab's takeover of rival Uber's South-east Asian business.

It found that the move was anti-competitive, and slapped a $13 million fine on Grab and Uber. Uber's share of the fine is $6.58 million and Grab's share is $6.42 million.

In levying the financial penalties, the commission said it took into account the relevant turnovers of the parties; the nature, duration and seriousness of the infringement; as well as aggravating and mitigating factors, such as whether the parties were cooperative.

Mr Lim said the fine is "no small sum", but it "will not impact our daily operations... that will go on as normal".

Asked how Indonesian ride-hailing rival Go-Jek's impending arrival will affect Grab, Mr Lim said: "Go-Jek, like all competitors who've come into the market in the past, like Uber and EasyTaxi, they have always pushed us to be better, to be more innovative.

"Each time a competitor comes in, it pushes us to change our course a little bit."

Asked how will Grab's course be altered this time, he said: "I don't know yet, but we need to remain relevant to our customers."

Mr Lim added that it might encourage the company to "accelerate its super-app plans".

With the "super app", Grab customers can access a slew of services with just one phone app.