Grab seeks fair anti-trust body assessment on Uber merger

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 30) — Transport network company (TNC) Grab called on the anti-trust body to 'fairly assess' its purchase of Uber's assets, which supposedly resulted in lack of competition.

Grab Philippines responded to the Philippine Competition Commission's (PCC) review on Monday, which expressed concern about Grab's surge fares caused by supply lack, despite the supposed increase in its number of drivers.

"Grab Philippines is also preparing its Comment on the Statement of Concerns to further clarify matters with the PCC. We hope that the PCC will fairly assess our arguments and sit down with us to discuss how t

o address any issues that the PCC may identify moving forward," it said.

Grab reiterated the fare surge has been caused by passenger demand-driver supply concerns, as well as regulatory constraints to applying transport network vehicle service (TNVS) drivers.

"It is unfortunate that the PCC has concluded that the transaction has adverse competition effects, in terms of allegedly higher prices and deteriorating service quality after the transaction, which conclusions are not borne out by the regulatory and market analysis that we have procured to be undertaken," Grab said in a statement Wednesday.

The company said the impact of its merger with Uber on competition is temporary, as the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) accredited at least five new TNCs (transport network companies). PCC earlier said the entry of new TNCs did not provide sufficient competition as the drivers need time to establish a solid customer base.

READ: Get to know the new transport network companies

"We have also implemented changes to the Grab app to address driver cancellations and have also launched the 100-day improvement plan to improve driver and rider experience; we have undertaken these not only to address any perceived consumer harm arising from the transaction, but also to simply improve our service," Grab said.

The TNC said it will talk to PCC to give its own market reviews.

"We are presently engaging with the PCC to understand what it believes are the bases for its conclusions and to ensure that the PCC also has the benefit of our regulatory and market analysis, which would show that the transaction has no anti-competitive effect," it said.

Grab has until June 1 to respond to the anti-competition body's statement of concerns.