Uber to ap­peal watch­dog’s de­ci­sion on Grab deal

The Myanmar Times - Weekend - - International Business -

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

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