Uber to appeal SG competition regulator’s decision on Grab deal

A man checks his smartphone whilst standing amongst illuminated screens bearing the Uber Technologies Inc. logo in this arranged photograph in London, U.K., on Tuesday, June 26, 2018. Photograph: Bloomberg

Uber Technologies Inc on Monday said it will appeal a decision by Singapore’s anti-trust watchdog that its merger with Grab violated the city-state’s competition laws.

Last month, Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) had slapped a $9.5-million combined fine on Uber and Grab, ruling that the former’s takeover of the latter’s Southeast Asia operations had substantially decreased competition in the local ride-hailing market. Grab was fined $4.7 million (S$6.42 million) and Uber, $4.8 million (S$6.58 million).

“Our objective is not to challenge the remedies of the decision, which are in fact almost identical to the commitments that Uber and Grab voluntarily offered to the CCCS,” Uber said in a statement.

“Rather, we aim to clarify that the conclusion that our transaction with Grab led to a substantial lessening of competition, and that Uber intentionally breached the law, is unsupported and incorrect,” it added.

Uber has also asked CCCS to annul the fine, saying that the regulator has used a very narrow definition of the ride-hailing market.

Grab, meanwhile, has said that it will not appeal the CCCS decision.

Lim Kell Jay, Head of Grab Singapore, said: “We are committed to operating in an environment that best serves our customers. We are now fully focused on improving the Grab experience for our users, partners and merchants.”

Last week, the Philippines’ competition watchdog also imposed a combined $300,000 fine on the two companies for completing a rushed merger of their operations in the country, failure to maintain quality of services, and other violations of its previous interim order.

Uber sold its Southeast Asian business to Grab in March, where it took a 27.4 per cent stake in the Singapore-based ride-hailing firm. The merger covered Uber’s assets in Singapore, Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. Uber’s CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, joined Grab’s board as part of the deal.

Also Read:

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PH antitrust watchdog slaps Grab, Uber with $300K fine

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.

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.