Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - SE Asia ride-hail firm Grab hits back in row over Uber takeover

SE Asia ride-hail firm Grab hits back in row over Uber takeover

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Models stand beside Grab cars during the launch of the ride hailing-firm’s services in the country, in Phnom Penh on December 19, 2017. Charly TWO/afp

SE Asia ride-hail firm Grab hits back in row over Uber takeover

Ride-hailing firm Grab insisted Friday its takeover of Uber’s businesses in Southeast Asia has not substantially eroded competition in Singapore after a threat from the city-state’s anti-monopoly watchdog to reverse the deal.

The Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) earlier this month threatened to overturn the deal, and called for changes to be made as it infringed competition rules.

Grab – Southeast Asia’s dominant ride-hailing firm, operating in eight countries – said it has submitted a written response to the commission defending the transaction.

“Grab disagrees with the CCCS finding that the Grab/Uber deal has led to a substantial lessening of competition,” the company said.

It said some of the measures proposed by the commission were “unwarranted” but vowed it would continue to cooperate with the watchdog in their ongoing review.

Singapore-headquartered Grab in March agreed to buy Uber’s ride-hailing and food business in Southeast Asia, ending a bruising battle between the ride-hailing companies.

But Singapore’s competition commission found that the deal created a virtual monopoly in the city-state’s ride-hailing market, with Grab raising prices after the merger was completed.

It asked Grab to revert to pre-merger pricing and end its exclusive contracts with drivers so other players would find it easier to enter the market.

Grab however said this was “one-sided” as the commission allows other industry players to enter into exclusivity arrangements.

“Grab believes that this double-standard goes against the spirit of increasing choices for drivers and riders,” it said.

Grab also said it has maintained its pricing and driver commissions, citing data showing that the average fare per ride fell by 3.4 per cent since the merger.

The Grab-Uber deal has come under scrutiny across the region, with Malaysia and the Philippines also launching investigations.

In return for selling its Southeast Asian ride-hailing and food operations, California-headquartered Uber received a 27.5 percent stake in Grab.

MOST VIEWED

  • EU parliament’s 13-point vote to decide on possible sanctions

    The European Parliament is due to vote on Thursday on a 13-point resolution on Cambodia – which includes a call for the treason charges against bailed opposition leader Kem Sokha to be dropped – a threat that could see the EU enforce a range of sanctions against

  • Government hits back at threats to pull EBA, suspend UN seat

    The spokesman for the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) has said the government is in no way concerned after the European Parliament gave it three months to reverse what it called the “systematic repression of the political opposition”. Ignoring the ultimatum could mean facing

  • Sar Kheng: Sokha requested security

    Interior Minister Sar Kheng on Sunday revealed the story behind the transfer of former opposition party leader Kem Sokha from Trapaing Phlong prison in Tbong Khmum province to his house in the capital. Speaking at the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) headquarters in Prey

  • PM vows to ‘protect’ Chinese interests

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Tuesday told Chinese companies investing in Cambodia not to worry about contract cancellation in the Kingdom. Speaking at a roundtable meeting with business executives in China as co-chair of the China-Asean Expo, the prime minister told six Chinese conglomerates with