Uber, Grab ordered to explain app shutdown

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THE Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) has asked Grab Philippines (MyTaxi.Ph) and Uber Philippines (Uber Systems, Inc.) to explain why they have stopped operating the Uber app, despite the antitrust body’s order to continue its operations during the review period.

“PCC is aware that there are many factors that led to the shutdown of the Uber app. This development may have rendered the review conditions to be less than ideal, however, this move shall not derail the motu proprio review of the Grab-Uber transaction,” the competition watchdog said in a statement.

The PCC gave Uber and Grab until today (April 17) to give an explanation on the shutdown of the Uber app.

Under the interim measures order issued on April 7, the PCC said Grab and Uber should maintain the independence of their respective operations, among others. The companies face fines of up to P2 million per violation of the order.

The PCC is currently conducting a motu proprio review of the Grab-Uber deal’s potential effects on competition.

“PCC intends to expedite the completion of the review ahead of the allowed time frame given how it is imbued with public interest,” the agency said.

“Grab’s buyout of Uber will mean gobbling up 93% of the ride-hailing market. The accreditation of new TNCs is a welcome development to allow passengers to have more choices. We note, however, that the incoming TNCs are left with only 7% share in the market.” — Janina C. Lim