Monday 22 October 2018 10:52 am

Uber to appeal Singaporean competition watchdog decision on Grab merger


Uber has said it will appeal a decision made by the competition watchdog in Singapore on its merger with local ride-hailing rival Grab.

The Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) last month imposed fines of 6.42m Singaporean dollars (£3.6m) on Grab and 6.58m Singaporean dollars on Uber, in addition to business restrictions, after concluding that their merger had driven up prices in the market.

Uber has asked CCCS to waive its own fine, arguing the watchdog had used a very narrow definition of the ride-hailing market which didn't consider traditional taxis as competitors. It added that Go-Jek, an Indonesian competitor, was soon about to enter the Singaporean market.

Read more: Microsoft makes strategic investment into ride-hailing firm Grab

"To the contrary, our view has always been that in a properly defined market – including at the very least ride-sharing, street-hail taxis and new entrants – the transaction respects the law and does not raise significant concerns," it said.

Uber also said that the CCCS' ruling that it had knowingly breached the law was "unsupported and incorrect".

The ride-hailing giant agreed to merge its local Singaporean arm with Grab in March, in exchange for a 27.5 per cent stake in the business. The deal also drew attention from competition regulators in the Philippines, which last week fined the two firms arguing the merger had happened too quickly at the expense of quality of service.

Grab gained a strategic investment from Microsoft earlier this month, in which the software giant also took a stake in the business. The valuation of the investment, however, was not disclosed by either company.