Singapore’s competition watchdog not notified about Grab-Uber deal

Singapore’s competition watchdog not notified about Grab-Uber deal

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: While it is aware of Grab’s acquisition of Uber’s Southeast Asia business, Singapore’s competition watchdog said it has not received formal notifications from both parties.

The Competition Commission of Singapore (CCS) is writing to both companies to “clarify the details” of the deal, it said on Monday (Mar 26) in response to queries from Channel NewsAsia.

It noted that under Singapore’s competition law, mergers that may result in significantly lesser competition are prohibited.

"In the event CCS finds that a merger situation is expected to result in an SLC (substantial lessening of competition), CCS has powers to give directions to remedy the SLC," it said.

For instance, it can require the merger to be unwound or modified. It can also issue interim measures prior to the final determination of the merger.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) said in response to queries that it will study the impact of the Grab-Uber deal.

“We will ensure that no one single market player dominates the sector to the detriment of commuters and drivers,” it said.

“We note that the Competition Commission of Singapore has the power to review any merger or acquisition that might affect competition in any market in Singapore.”

LTA added that it was also separately reviewing the regulatory framework to license the private-hire car booking service operators. “The strategic intent is to keep the PHC and taxi industries open and contestable,” it said.

Ride-hailing service Grab confirmed on Monday morning its decision to acquire Uber's Southeast Asian operations. It will integrate Uber's ride-sharing and food delivery business in the region into its platform.

Under the deal, Uber will take a 27.5 per cent stake in Grab, and Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi will join Grab's board.

Source: CNA/na/ad

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