Indonesia's anti-trust watchdog levies $3 million in fines on Grab and partner

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Indonesia’s anti-trust watchdog announced fines totalling more than $3 million for Grab and its business partner after finding it guilty of breaking anti-monopoly laws, a verdict the ride-hailing firm vowed to appeal.

The Business Competition Supervisory Commission (KPPU) said it had found Grab had discriminated against its drivers, prioritising those provided by partner PT Teknologi Pengangkutan Indonesia (TPI) to the Softbank 9984.T-backed firm.

In a statement, Dinni Melanie, the chair of the watchdog judicial panel, said it had found Grab infringed the anti-monopoly laws after evaluating the case on Thursday evening.

The agency imposed a fine of 30 billion rupiah ($2.1 million) on Grab and a penalty of 19 billion ($1.03 million) rupiah on TPI.

A spokesman for Grab, which is Southeast Asia’s most valuable startup with a valuation of $14 billion, told Reuters the firm would appeal the verdict.

“Grab’s view is that it has not violated any regulation, engaged in any anti-competitive business practices, or injured any third parties,” he said, characterising the watchdog’s findings as “unsubstantiated allegations”.

Reuters could not immediately reach TPI to seek comment.

Reporting by Fanny Potkin in Singapore and Bernadette Christina Munthe in Jakarta; Editing by Clarence Fernandez