Uber-Grab merger under investigation on competition grounds

By : |April 2, 2018 0

The Competition Commission of Singapore (CCS) is investigating the Uber-Grab merger deal and has proposed interim measures that will require Uber and Grab to maintain their pre-transaction independent pricing. The commission also directed Grab to not take confidential information from Uber nor lock Uber drivers into driving for Grab.

The watchdog said in a statement that it had “reasonable grounds for suspecting” the merger infringed section 54 of the country’s Competition Act. This pertained to “substantial lessening of competition” related to the provision of chauffeured point-to-point passenger and booking services, it said.

Singapore has a voluntary merger notification regime, where companies can make a formal notification to the watchdog if they are concerned that the merger has infringed competition rules. The regulator said that although Grab had indicated the parties’ intention to file a formal merger notification, it had yet to receive the notification from the parties as of Friday.

It is the first time the commission has issued interim measures on any business in the country. The two firms will be given an opportunity to make written representations to the CCS upon receipt of the proposed interim measures, it said.

Last week, Grab announced it was acquiring Uber’s operations and assets, including the latter’s food delivery business, across eight regional markets: Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

The deal would see Uber taking a 27.5 percent stake in Grab, while Uber CEO Dana Dara Khosrowshahi would take a seat on Grab’s board.

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