Uber to appeal watchdog’s decision on Grab deal
UBER has decided to appeal a decision by the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) that its merger with regional rival Grab violated the Republic’s competition laws, the firm said on Monday (Oct 22).
Last month, Singapore slapped ride-hailing firms Grab and Uber with fines and imposed restrictions on their operations to open up the market to competitors, after concluding that their merger had driven up prices. It fined Grab S$6.42 million and Uber S$6.58 million.
Uber said it was making the appeal independently of Grab, as a matter of principle.
Grab, responding to TODAY’S queries, said it would not be appealing the watchdog’s decision. Grab Singapore head Lim Kell Jay said: “We are committed to operating in an environment that best serves our customers. We are now fully focused on improving the Grab experience for users, partners and merchants.”
Uber said in its statement that the CCCS’ ruling that the transaction led to a substantial lessening of competition, and that Uber had intentionally breached the law, was “unsupported and incorrect”.
It asked the CCCS to annul its fine, and said the regulator had used a very narrow definition of the ride-hailing market.
Uber also pointed to Indonesian ride-hailing company Go-jek’s impending entry into the city-state, saying the latter would make for a formidable competitor.
Uber disputed the CCCS’ allegation that Uber knew that the transaction infringed the law but nevertheless moved ahead.
“To the contrary, our view has always been that in a properly defined market — including at the very least ride-sharing, street-hail taxis and new entrants — the transaction respects the law and does not raise significant concerns,” it said.
Uber sold its South-east Asian business to bigger regional rival Grab in March in exchange for a 27.5 per cent stake in the Singapore-based firm. But the deal invited regulatory scrutiny.
Last week, the Philippines’ competition watchdog also fined the two firms, saying they consummated their merger too soon and that the quality of service had suffered. – Agencies