A Grab motorbike helmet.

Antitrust Body's Decision Against Grab Can Turn Away Foreign Investors: Attorney


JULY 04, 2020

Jakarta. The Indonesian antitrust body's 'groundless' decision against Grab Indonesia sets a negative precedent for future foreign investments, the company's lawyer Hotman Paris Hutapea said in a statement last week.

Paris is the defense attorney to Grab Indonesia and its car-rental partner Teknologi Pengangkutan Indonesia (TPI) for unfair business practice allegations.

Grab is accused to have shown favoritism towards TPI-affiliated drivers in comparison to the independent drivers on its ride-hailing platform. The Business Competition Supervisory Commission (KPPU) then decided to impose a fine of a whopping Rp 30 billion ($2 million) on Grab Indonesia and Rp 19 billion on TPI.

Attorney Paris, however, found that the business watchdog's decision can interfere with President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's plan to attract more foreign investment. 

"KPPU has punished foreign investors Grab and TPI, who have largely invested in the country and generated more employment, based on considerations that contradict with the legal facts," Paris said in a statement on Thursday.

Also, Grab partners present at the hearing had testified to have never felt discriminated by TPI's presence in the business ecosystem.

According to economist Faisal Basri, KPPU has disregarded Grab and TPI's contribution towards the economy.

The large fines imposed amid the pandemic would only take a great toll on the two transportation enterprises who have been severely affected by the social restrictions, Faisal said as quoted by Paris in his statement.

"President Jokowi should oversee KPPU. Foreign investors can lose interest if there is an agency that punishes foreign investors without clear legal consideration," Paris said.

Grab has also recently released an official statement in which they slam the discriminative allegations. In response to KPPU's decision, they will also file an appeal at the district court.