Philippines, Malaysia put Grab-Uber deal under scrutiny

This article is more than 12 months old

MANILA/KUALA LUMPUR: The Philippines and Malaysia said yesterday that they will look into whether Uber Technologies' move to sell its South-east Asian business to ride-hailing rival Grab hinders competition, days after Singapore began a probe into the deal on similar concerns.

The expanded scrutiny of the deal in South-east Asia could pose a major hurdle to the US firm's attempt to improve profitability by exiting its loss-making regional operation.

It also comes as Grab is set to face tougher competition from Indonesian rival Go-Jek.

Last week, Singapore proposed interim measures to require Grab and Uber 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 Grab-Uber acquisition is likely to have a far reaching impact on the riding public and transportation services.

"As such, the PCC is looking at the deal closely," the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) said in a statement.

It said the deal will put Grab in a virtual monopoly in the ride-sharing market, and its review will determine whether the transaction substantially reduces competition, adding it is meeting representatives of Grab and Uber.

Should anti-competitive concerns arise, Grab and Uber may propose commitments to remedy.

In the event they will not submit voluntarily, the commission could open a case that may block the deal, it said.

Malaysia also said yesterday it will monitor Grab for possible anti-competitive behaviour.


Meanwhile, Indonesia said it is making it mandatory for Go-Jek and Grab to register as transport companies within two months to ensure they meet safety requirements as a public transport provider.

The move could potentially increase costs and scrutiny of the ride-hailing firms. - REUTERS