Singapore competition watchdog fines Grab, Uber $9.5 million

Singapore watchdog fines Grab, Uber US$9.5 million over merger

However, the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) released a statement on the same day, stating that it was not informed of the merger.

Singapore's competition watchdog, CCCS, said that the penalties were imposed to "deter completed, irreversible mergers that harm competition".

Grab completed the Transaction within its legal rights, and still maintains we did not intentionally or negligently breach competition laws.

"Grab agrees with, and has long advocated for, industry-wide regulations that allow drivers to freely choose which platform or operator they wish to drive with", Lim said.

"We are disappointed by the CCCS decision announced today". For drivers to have full maximum choice, all transport players, including taxi operators, should also be subjected to nonexclusivity conditions.

Within days of the merger, the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) launched an investigation regarding it and now, we've finally known the verdict.

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Uber had on March 26 sold its South-east Asian business to Grab for a 27.5 per cent stake in Grab, in a move believed to help it mitigate its losses from intense competition against Grab and Go-Jek in the region. Grab was fined $4.6m for its part in the deal.

CCCS said: "CCCS's final decision and directions open up the market and level the playing field". Grab will continue to adhere to our pre-transaction pricing model, pricing policies and driver commissions.

Pointing to the Land Transport Authority, it noted that the country's regulatory framework pertaining to point-to-point transport now was under review and it hoped this meant the non-exclusivity issue would be addressed. These appear to be very similar to the proposed interim directions CCCS had issued earlier this year. Uber had been ordered to pay S$6.58 million (US$4.83 million), while Grab would have to fork out S$6.42 million (US$4.71 million) in penalties.

In the Philippines, where the deal has been approved, the competition watchdog has said it is monitoring Grab's compliance with conditions meant to improve the quality of service, with any breaches possibly resulting in fines.

The latest directions include ensuring that Grab drivers are not required to use Grab exclusively; removing Grab's exclusivity arrangements with any taxi fleet in Singapore; and requiring Uber to sell the vehicles of Lion City Rentals to any potential competitor who makes a reasonable offer, or to Grab but only with CCCS's approval.

Grab fares rose between 10 and 15 percent after the deal as the company reduced the number of points earned by riders and made it harder for them to redeem them, it said.

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