Malaysia and the Philippines set to investigate recent Grab-Uber deal

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Malaysia yesterday said it plans to monitor ride-hailing firm Grab for possible anti-competitive behavior, after rival Uber Technologies Inc offloaded its Southeast Asian operations to the Singapore-based firm.

Shukri said that Grab, which is valued at about US$6 billion, had offered assurances during their meeting on Monday last week that there would be no unfair pricing, and that it would not increase its fares for now.

The PCC said that it would review the acquisition, as "the riding public and partner drivers may be adversely affected by the transaction".

While the Philippine Competition Commission has not yet determined whether the deal reaches the $38.3m (2 billion PHP) threshold that, along with other criteria, automatically triggers a review, it has said that it will launch a review of its own volition. "As such, the PCC is looking at the deal closely with the end view of potentially reviewing it for competition concerns, as a notified transaction, or by opening a motu proprio case", the Commission said.

"Should anticompetitive concerns arise, Uber and Grab may propose commitments to remedy it". The company's hoped to integrate operations by April 8.

"The consultation is taken as a sign of the parties' willingness to comply with the provisions of the Philippine Competition Act, including ensuring real competition among ride-hailing options and promoting the welfare of the riding public", said PCC.

The PCC has reminded the parties that if the deal was notifiable, Grab's acquisition of Uber should not yet push through until the Commission has reviewed and approved the transaction.

"The PCC can expect Grab's cooperation in this Motu Proprio review".

The minister said the merger, however, did not change the government's working relationship with Grab in converting over 67,000 conventional taxi drivers nationwide to e-hailing platforms.

The PCC explained that as the anti-trust authority of the country, its mandate is to protect competition in the market and prohibit anticompetitive conduct, including mergers and acquisitions of businesses and companies that may substantially prevent, restrict, or lessen competition.

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