Philippines: Despite antitrust probe, Grab says Uber takeover to push through

FILE PHOTO - People wait for the start of ride-hailing company Grab's fifth anniversary news conference in Singapore June 6, 2017. REUTERS/Edgar Su/File Photo

Transport network company (TNC) Grab Philippines said its acquisition of Uber assets and the full transition of accredited Uber drivers to the Grab platform will push through even with the ongoing antitrust investigation on the merger.

In a statement posted on its website, Grab Philippines Public Affairs head Leo Gonzales said the company will cooperate with the review conducted by the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) and will prepare the necessary documents and share information required by the commission.

“We are willing to collaborate with the government and regulatory bodies, as always, to ensure that we fairly address the needs of our stakeholders,” Gonzales said.

The PCC earlier said that it has begun a motu proprio review on the acquisition by Grab of the assets of Uber as it has not received any notification of the transaction from the parties.

“The parties also made representations that the transaction is not covered by the compulsory notification requirements under the Philippine Competition Act,” the PCC said.

Under PCC’s new order, a transaction is notifiable if the size of the transaction reached P2 billion ($38 million), or if the size of the party is P5 billion ($96 million). If the transaction is notifiable, Grab and Uber are not allowed to consummate the deal without the approval of the PCC.

However, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) spokesman Aileen Lizada said that officials of Grab told her that the transaction was less than the thresholds set by the PCC, and, thus, it does not require the parties to notify the competition watchdog.

The PCC said its preliminary assessment of the Grab-Uber transaction, conducted by the Mergers and Acquisitions Office, indicated that there are reasonable grounds that the said acquisition may likely substantially lessen, prevent, or restrict competition.

Gonzales said Grab expected that the PCC, as a quasi-judicial body mandated to implement the national competition policy, would conduct a review of the merger to understand the impact on consumers and driver-partners.

“As PCC conducts its review, Grab will continue to put utmost support to ensure the full transition of accredited Uber drivers,” he said.

Also Read:

Malaysia, Philippines put Grab on anti-competition watchlist after Uber deal

Uber-Grab deal may have infringed competition laws, says Singapore watchdog

Singapore Reporter/s

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Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.