Grab calls competition watchdog's decision on Uber merger 'overreaching', plans to appeal

Grab calls competition watchdog's decision on Uber merger 'overreaching', plans to appeal

FILE PHOTO: A man walks past a Grab office in Singapore
FILE PHOTO: A man walks past a Grab office in Singapore March 26, 2018. REUTERS/Edgar Su/File Photo

SINGAPORE: Ride-hailing operator Grab said it will be taking "all appropriate steps to appeal" against the provisional decision made by the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) on Thursday (Jul 5). 

"We note the provisional decision is not final nor effective yet, and we will submit our written representations to the CCCS before the deadline," a Grab spokesperson said in response to queries from Channel NewsAsia.

The competition watchdog announced on Thursday afternoon that its investigations found that the merger between Grab and Uber's Southeast Asian business infringed the Competition Act as it led to a "substantial lessening of competition" and recommended imposing financial penalties on the parties.

Grab also said that the CCCS appears to have taken a "very narrow approach in defining competition" and disagreed with their analysis. 

"While we are one of the most visible players in transport, we are not the only player in the market. CCCS has not taken into account the dynamic developments and intense competition going on over the past few months, from both new and incumbent taxi and ride-hailing players," said the spokesperson. 

Grab also called the provisional decision and proposed fines "over-reaching", and said that they "go against Singapore’s pro-innovation and pro-business regulations in a free market economy". 

It added that the company had proactively engaged with the CCCS before the transaction with Uber was signed, and conducted the "acquisition legally and in full compliance with Singapore’s applicable competition laws". 

"We fully cooperated with the CCCS throughout the course of their review, and had proactively proposed voluntary commitments over and above the Interim Measures Directions (IMDs), to ensure consumers’ and drivers’ interests are taken care of, which the CCCS had rejected," said the spokesperson. 

"Grab has complied with all areas of CCCS’ IMDs including maintaining base fare levels, surge factor and driver commission rates."

Source: CNA/ng

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