Uber-Grab merger might be reversed as Singapore watchdog cites lack of competitors

(Reuters) — Singapore’s anti-trust physique proposed fines on Grab and Uber Technologies and warned it might must unwind the 2 ride-hailing companies’ merger because the deal considerably lessened competitors.

Uber offered its Southeast Asian enterprise to greater regional rival Grab in March in change for a stake within the Singapore-based agency, marking the U.S. agency’s second-biggest retreat from an Asian market.

But the deal has invited regulatory scrutiny within the area, with the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS), in a uncommon transfer, launching a probe into the deal, days after the transaction was introduced.

The fee stated on Thursday it proposed the fines as a result of Uber and Grab carried out the transaction regardless of having anticipated potential competitors issues, resulting in lesser competitors within the sector in Singapore.

This is the primary time the fee will impose fines on a merger transaction. The CCCS stated it is going to take into account the businesses’ representations earlier than it finalizes the precise quantity of fines.

Grab and Uber didn’t have an instantaneous response.

CCCS has additionally proposed measures to handle the lessening of competitors, corresponding to eradicating exclusivity obligations on drivers who use Grab’s ride-hailing platform in addition to its exclusivity preparations with taxi fleets.

The fee additionally proposed that Grab keep its pre-transaction pricing algorithm and driver fee charges till competitors is revived available in the market.

CCCS has invited public suggestions on the proposed cures.

It stated it might require the events to unwind the transaction until the suggestions confirms that any of the proposed cures, or any additional cures, are adequate to handle the competitors issues, and are implementable in observe.

(Reporting by Jack Kim and Aradhana Aravindan; Editing by Himani Sarkar and Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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