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Uber, Grab’s Merger May Be Undone In Singapore

It led to a reduction in competition, a gov’t agency said

Uber left Singapore like it did many other Southeast Asian countries like the Philippines a few months ago when the company sold their operations to rival Grab in March. But like in many other countries where Uber has bailed, Singapore’s competition watchdog has found their merger bad for competition and has led to increased ride prices with Grab.

“The The Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) has provisionally found that the Transaction has led to a substantial lessening of competition (“SLC”) in the provision of chauffeured point-to-point transport (“CPPT”) platform services in Singapore,” the provisional decision on the CCCS’ website said.

According to the government agency, the merger may have resulted in higher barriers of entry to new players and may lead to less innovation and a lower quality product. Because of that both Uber and Grab will be levied fines, and the transaction may be “unwound”.

“CCCS may require the parties to unwind the transaction unless the aforesaid public consultation confirms that any of the proposed remedies, or any further remedies, are sufficient to address the identified competition concerns, and are implementable in practice,” the watchdog said in a statement.

The remedies include forcing Uber to sell Lion City Rentals, its rental car subsidiary in the city-state to other competitors, removing Grab’s exclusivity deals with taxi firms.

Grab, on its part said it disagreed with the CCCS’ decision and would appeal.

This isn’t the first time that the Grab and Uber deal has been met with increased scrutiny. The Philippine Competition Commission instructed Uber to continue operations a few weeks after the deal was announced. Malaysia’s Competition Commission has also said it would keep tabs on Grab after Uber exited the region. 

 

 

John Nieves

John is a veteran technology and gadget journalist with more than 10 years of experience both in print and online. When not writing about technology, he frequently gets lost in the boonies playing soldier.

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