Singapore’s competition agency last week opened an investigation into Grab’s acquisition of Uber’s Southeast Asia, and now authorities in the Philippines and Malaysia are following suit by looking closely at the deal.
The Grab-Uber acquisition is likely to have a far reaching impact on the riding public and the transportation services. As such, the PCC is looking at the deal closely with the end view of potentially reviewing it for competition concerns, as a notified transaction, or by opening a motu proprio case.
And Malaysia’s minister in charge of public transport licensing, speaking to Reuters:
We won’t take it lightly. We will monitor this because it is still early days and we don’t know what will happen next. We have stressed that if there is any anti-competitive behavior, the Competition Act will come into force. We have spelt this out to them.
Reuters reports that Indonesian authorities aren’t yet commenting on whether they will probe the tie-up.
Announcing the deal last week, Grab said it planned to close the Uber app within two weeks — meaning by the end of this week at the time of writing — while Uber Eats will continue until the end of May before being folded into the Grab Food service.
However, the Competition Commission of Singapore (CCS) requested that both companies maintain their products and pricing while it conducts an overview of how the transaction impacts the competitive landscape. The organization said it has “reasonable grounds” to suspect that the deal may fall foul of section 54 of Singapore’s Competition Act.
Meanwhile, Grab CEO Anthony Tan told the BBC in an interview that there are “zero issues” with how the deal was done. Tan said Grab will work with regulators and that it has already committed to maintaining prices.