Watch­dog probes Grab’s Uber buy

Deal sus­pected of breach­ing com­pe­ti­tion law

Viet Nam News - - BUSINESS -

HAØ NOIÄ — Vi­etä Nam Com­pe­ti­tion Au­thor­ity (VCA), under the Min­istry of In­dus­try and Trade, has de­cided to con­duct a pre­lim­i­nary in­ves­ti­ga­tion into Grab’s pur­chase of Uber’s stakes in Vi­etä Nam.

The ac­qui­si­tion is sus­pected to breach reg­u­la­tions on eco­nomic con­cen­tra­tion under the coun­try’s Law on Com­pe­ti­tion 2004.

The in­ves­ti­ga­tion will span 30 days, start­ing from the day the de­ci­sion was is­sued last week.

Fol­low­ing Grab’s an­nounce­ment on March 26 about its pur­chase of Uber’s op­er­a­tions in South­east Asia, in­clud­ing Vieät Nam, VCA sent a dis­patch to GrabTaxi re­quest­ing in­for­ma­tion and doc­u­ments re­lated to the ac­qui­si­tion.

How­ever, GrabTaxi claimed since the com­bined mar­ket share of both Grab and Uber in Vieät Nam was less than 30 per cent, it did not have to “in­form the com­pe­ti­tion au­thor­ity be­fore pro­ceed­ing and com­plet­ing this trans­ac­tion in Vieät Nam”.

VCA then held a work­ing ses­sion with GrabTaxi’s le­gal rep­re­sen­ta­tive on April 6, but the firm failed to pro­vide ev­i­dence prov­ing its claim.

VCA urged the com­pany to care­fully as­sess the mar­ket share af­ter ac­qui­si­tion to en­sure com­pli­ance with reg­u­la­tions on eco­nomic con­cen­tra­tion under the com­pe­ti­tion law be­fore con­duct­ing trans­ac­tions in Vieät Nam.

Mean­while, an Uber rep­re­sen­ta­tive, who met VCA on April 12, said the com­pany had of­fi­cially stopped op­er­a­tions and closed all of­fices in Vieät Nam from 11.59pm on April 8, which meant the trans­ac­tion be­tween Grab and Uber was al­ready com­plete in the coun­try.

Grab is one of the most fre­quently used O2O (on­line-toof­fline) mo­bile plat­forms across 195 cities in South­east Asia. More than five mil­lion peo­ple use the com­bined plat­form daily.

Vieät Nam is not the only coun­try where Grab is cur­rently under fire. Other South­east Asian coun­tries, such as the Philip­pines, Sin­ga­pore and Malaysia, are all re­quest­ing a de­tailed ex­pla­na­tion of the com­pany’s ac­qui­si­tion of Uber fear­ing Grab’s mo­nop­oly in the mar­ket. — VNS

A GrabBike driver and cus­tomers nav­i­gate the streets of Haø Noäi. — VNA/VNS Photo Thaønh Ñaït

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