Malaysia and Philippines put Uber-Grab hinders deal under anti-competition scrutiny

Vastavam web: The Philippines and Malaysia said on Monday they will look into whether Uber Technologies’ move to sell its Southeast 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 Southeast Asia could pose a major hurdle to the U.S. 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.

“The Grab-Uber acquisition is likely to have a far-reaching impact on the riding public and the 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 on Monday.“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 oversees the public transport licensing authority.

“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, referring to a meeting with Grab representatives last Monday.