Grab PHL submits proposed voluntary commitments to competition watchdog

Font Size

GRAB Philippines (MyTaxi.PH,Inc.) has submitted proposed voluntary commitments to remedy some of the anti-competition issues raised by the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) with parent company Grab Holdings, Inc.’s acquisition of Uber B.V.’s Southeast Asian assets, including the Philippine business.

Miguel Aguila, legal counsel of Grab Philippines, said in a message the company has provided its proposed commitments to PCC on May 30. He declined to give details.

PCC had said that it is possible that Grab may volunteer commitments to respond to anti-competition concerns, similar to commitments made by SM Retail, Inc. with its proposed acquisition of Goldilocks Bakeshop, Inc. SM Retail eventually did not push through with its the Goldilocks deal.

PCC ordered its Mergers and Acquisitions Office (MAO) to conduct a motu proprio review of the acquisition. Uber announced in April that it was selling its Southeast Asian businesses, ride-sharing and food delivery, to Singapore-based rival Grab which gives Uber a 27.5% stake in Grab and Uber CEO a seat on the Grab board.

PCC last week released a statement of concerns regarding the acquisition by Grab of Uber, and said that the quality of services decreased after the transaction, indicated by increased driver cancellation, forced cancellation of rides, and increased waiting times. PCC also said that prices increased with the closure of Uber operations.

“This is compounded by the loss of a competitor in Uber [Uber Systems, Inc.] where trips were less likely to be canceled due to features which mask the destination of a prospective rider until the start of the trip,” PCC had said last week.

Grab had begun the masking of trip destinations in April for around 25% of drivers, mostly those with high cancellation rates. It also said it had sanctioned around 500 drivers from high rate of cancellation.

The PCC also added the new entrants in the market are “not likely to exert sufficient competitive pressure on Grab.”

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board has accredited Ipara Technologies and Solutions, Inc., Hype Transport Systems, Inc., Micab Systems Corp., Golag, Inc., and Hirna Mobility Solutions, Inc.

Grab has defended its pricing and said that all fares are legally approved.

PCC Commissioner Johannes Benjamin R. Bernabe said in a message that he has not seen the documents submitted by Grab but said that the company had previously manifested their intention to volunteer commitments. — Patrizia Paola C. Marcelo