Grab and Uber: Latest Updates on the South-East Asia Merger
Wed Apr 11, 2018
Grab and Uber Merger up to a rocky start in South East Asia, after Singapore and the Philippines halts progress pending an investigation into possible antitrust infractions. Regulatory bodies in both countries have proposed Uber continue its operations and maintain their independent pricing.
According to Channel News Asia, Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) has said the merger may have infringed competition law.
Widespread concern among private hire car drivers in Singapore has prompted Workplace Singapore – a government statutory body overseeing workforce development- and the National Trade Union Congress to provide employment assistance to affected drivers.
Meanwhile, Malaysian Authorities have given the ok. Minister from Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Nancy Shukri stated the following:
“We have been dealing with Grab in Malaysia since the beginning, and so far, they have been very cooperative with us”
She reassured that government watchdogs will be observing any future prices hikes, prompting a thorough investigation into any monopolistic practices.
Uber Malaysia’s 80 staff were told to go on 3 months paid leave, before being re-offered contract. When queried, Grab officials said they would only assess individual applications with fresh offers.
The South East Asian Ride Sharing Industry Going Forward
Grab will shut down the Uber app on April 15. South East Asians can only use the app in foreign countries. The transitioning process may be marred with service disruption. Grab has asked that riders bear with them for the inconvenience.
If Grab is found to have breached antitrust laws, the CCCS may enforce punitive actions by denying Grab the use of Uber’s customer database or ride matching algorithm.
The Philippines has not give a deadline of its merger verdict, essential placing it in limbo. Citing concerns with Uber’ss proclaimed retreat as being disingenuous, Uber’s 27.5% stake in Grab and Uber CEO Dana Khosrowshahi’s seat on the board was suggestive of convergent operations.
Grab’s big win as a market powerhouse may short lived as the Nikkei Asian Review is predicting Grab’s Indonesian competitor Go-Jek intends to explore other neighboring markets.
However, morale remains high at Grab, as in a recent interview with CNBC, CEO Anthony Tan says he’s built a relationship of trust with Uber CEO Dana Khosrowshahi.
Credit: CNBC News
Additionally, in another interview with the BBC, he also hailed the rise of “Regional Champions”, who will dominate the market.