After Singapore, Malaysia and Philippines put Grab on competition watchlist

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Just days after the Competition Commission of Singapore suspected that Southeast Asia’s leading ride-hailing app Grab has infringed the country’s Competition Act by purchasing rival Uber’s Southeast Asian operations, Malaysia and the Philippines followed suit.

Competition watchdogs of both countries said on April 2 they would look into whether Uber’s sale to Grab hinders competition.

The expanded scrutiny of the deal could pose a major hurdle to Uber’s attempt to improve profitability by exiting its loss-making in Southeast Asian operation. It also comes as Grab is set to face tougher competition from Indonesian rival Go-Jek which is about to expand to other countries in Southeast Asia with a full war chest.

In a rare move, Singapore last week proposed interim measures to require Uber and Grab to maintain their pre-transaction independent pricing until it completes a review of the deal, saying it had “reasonable grounds” to suspect that competition had been infringed.

The Philippine Competition Commission, for its part, said in a statement that “the Grab-Uber acquisition is likely to have a far-reaching impact on the riding public and the transportation services. As such, we are looking at the deal closely.”

Malaysian officials also said Grab will be monitored for possible anti-competitive behaviour.

“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,” said government minister Nancy Shukri, whose portfolio includes the public transport licensing authority, according to Reuters.

“We have stressed that if there is any anti-competitive behaviour, the Competition Act will come into force. We have spelt this out to them,” Nancy said.

 

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Just days after the Competition Commission of Singapore suspected that Southeast Asia’s leading ride-hailing app Grab has infringed the country’s Competition Act by purchasing rival Uber’s Southeast Asian operations, Malaysia and the Philippines followed suit.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Just days after the Competition Commission of Singapore suspected that Southeast Asia’s leading ride-hailing app Grab has infringed the country’s Competition Act by purchasing rival Uber’s Southeast Asian operations, Malaysia and the Philippines followed suit.

Competition watchdogs of both countries said on April 2 they would look into whether Uber’s sale to Grab hinders competition.

The expanded scrutiny of the deal could pose a major hurdle to Uber’s attempt to improve profitability by exiting its loss-making in Southeast Asian operation. It also comes as Grab is set to face tougher competition from Indonesian rival Go-Jek which is about to expand to other countries in Southeast Asia with a full war chest.

In a rare move, Singapore last week proposed interim measures to require Uber and Grab to maintain their pre-transaction independent pricing until it completes a review of the deal, saying it had “reasonable grounds” to suspect that competition had been infringed.

The Philippine Competition Commission, for its part, said in a statement that “the Grab-Uber acquisition is likely to have a far-reaching impact on the riding public and the transportation services. As such, we are looking at the deal closely.”

Malaysian officials also said Grab will be monitored for possible anti-competitive behaviour.

“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,” said government minister Nancy Shukri, whose portfolio includes the public transport licensing authority, according to Reuters.

“We have stressed that if there is any anti-competitive behaviour, the Competition Act will come into force. We have spelt this out to them,” Nancy said.

 

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