Allow us to 'freely compete', Grab urges Government

Allow us to 'freely compete', Grab urges Government

A man walks past a Grab office in Singapore
A man walks past a Grab office in Singapore Mar 26, 2018. (Photo: Reuters/Edgar Su)

SINGAPORE: Ride-hailing app Grab on Friday (Mar 30) urged the Government to allow it to "freely compete" in Singapore, after the Competition Commission of Singapore (CCS) said it had "reasonable grounds" to suspect its merger with Uber has infringed the Competition Act.

"Improving services for commuters and drivers will always be our priority, and we urge the Government to allow us to freely compete and complement the dominant taxi business," said Mr Lim Kell Jay, head of Grab Singapore, in a statement.

To address consumer concerns, Grab has "voluntarily committed" to maintaining its fare structure and will not increase base fares, he said.

Earlier in the week, CCS had said it had not received formal notifications from both parties about the deal.

On Friday, Mr Lim said that the company had "engaged with the CCS prior to signing and continue to do so".

"Grab has conducted its comprehensive due diligence and legal analysis with its advisers before entering into and concluding the transaction," he said, adding that the company has also informed CCS that it will be making a "voluntary notification" no later than Apr 16 this year.

COMPETITION

Earlier on Friday, CCS had also said the deal may lead to "substantial lessening of competition" for the private-hire car industry in Singapore.

However, Mr Lim said that Grab still has competition within the "overall transportation industry". 

"Five years ago, consumers were not able to flag or book taxis easily as supply was a problem. Grab innovated to improve the point-to-point transport within the overall transportation industry, particularly the availability and quality of both taxi and car services," said Mr Lim. 

On Thursday, Mr Lim also released a statement on Grab's website addressing those concerns. He pointed out that two companies have already announced their intention to launch ride-hailing apps in Singapore and elsewhere in the region. 

Ryde, a homegrown carpooling app, announced it would be launching a new private-hire car service RydeX on Wednesday, while Reuters reported on Tuesday that Indonesia's Go-Jek has plans to expand to three other countries in the region.

Source: CNA/ng

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