Grab, Uber fined P16M over merger

Sun Star Bacolod - - Top Stories -

TRANS­PORT net­work ser­vices providers Grab and Uber have been slapped a to­tal of P16 mil­lion in ad­min­is­tra­tive fines for vi­o­lat­ing the in­terim mea­sures im­posed by an­titrust body Philip­pine Com­pe­ti­tion Com­mis­sion (PCC) pend­ing the re­view of their merger.

Grab and Uber, which merged op­er­a­tions on April 7, 2018 with Grab as the sur­viv­ing en­tity, were given 45 days to set­tle the fines.

In a res­o­lu­tion is­sued on Oc­to­ber 11, 2018, the an­titrust body im­posed a col­lec­tive fine of P4 mil­lion on Grab and Uber; P8 mil­lion on Grab; and P4 mil­lion on Uber.

“This is a fair re­minder to par­ties sub­jected to merger re­views to co­op­er­ate and com­ply with the com­mis­sion’s or­ders. Selec- tive com­pli­ance adds to the bur­den of the re­view process, which in turn have re­al­life con­se­quences on the pub­lic,” PCC chair­man Arse­nio Bal­isacan said in a state­ment.

“We urge fu­ture trans­ac­tions to ob­serve due dili­gence,” he added.

The col­lec­tive fine of P4 mil­lion im­posed on Grab and Uber is bro­ken down as fol­lows: P2 mil­lion for fail­ing to keep oper­at­ing sep­a­rately from April 7 to Au­gust 9, 2018; and P2 mil­lion for fail­ing to sus­pend Uber’s as­sump­tion of a board seat in Grab Hold­ings Inc.

The com­mis­sion also im­posed a fine of P8 mil­lion on Grab, as fol­lows: P2 mil­lion for fail­ing to main­tain pre­merger rates; P2 mil­lion for fail­ing to con­tinue of­fer­ing pre-merger pro­mo­tions for rid­ers; P2 mil­lion for fail­ing to keep pre-merger in­cen­tives to driv­ers; and P2 mil­lion for fail­ing to main­tain the pre-merger qual­ity of its ser­vices.

Uber was fined P1 mil­lion for each of the same vi­o­la­tions, or a to­tal of P4 mil­lion.

The PCC opened a motu pro­pio re­view of the Grabu­ber merger on April 3, after both par­ties failed to in­form the an­titrust body about it.

Grab Hold­ings Inc. and Mytaxi.ph Inc. ac­quired the as­sets of Uber B.V. and Uber Sys­tems Inc. in the Philip­pines as well as in Cam­bo­dia, In­done­sia, Malaysia, Myan­mar, Sin­ga­pore, Thai­land and Viet­nam.

The com­mis­sion ear­lier said their ini­tial as­sess­ment showed that the merger of the two ser­vices would ad­versely af­fect the rid­ing pub­lic and part­ner driv­ers.

In an at­tempt to pro­tect the pub­lic and part­ner driv­ers from the ill ef­fects of a mo­nop­oly, the PCC is­sued on April 6 an In­terim Mea­sures Or­der re­quir­ing Grab and Uber to, among oth­ers, con­tinue oper­at­ing sep­a­rately while their merger was un­der re­view.

The In­terim Mea­sures Or­der listed seven mea­sures aimed at main­tain­ing mar­ket con­di­tions.

In its Oc­to­ber 11 res­o­lu­tion, the PCC said both Grab and Uber com­mit­ted 10 acts of vi­o­la­tion re­fer­ring to two out of the seven mea­sures. Each act of vi­o­la­tion cor­re­sponds to a fine rang­ing be­tween P50,000 to P2 mil­lion./sun­star Philip­pines with PR

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