PCC delays Uber+Grab Merger
The Philippines Competition Commission (PCC) has ordered Uber to maintain its operations beyond their expected April 8 termination due to their merger with Grab. In a statement by the PCC, the two well-known Transport Network Vehicle Service (TNVS) providers were ordered to keep independent and separate operations until further notice.
Until the antitrust body of the PCC finishes their review of the said merger, Uber will remain operational. They’ve also created interim measures. The PCC has set no end date for the said order, it could last just weeks or maybe even up to 6 months. The PCC’s counterpart in Singapore made a similar move where it ordered Uber to maintain operations in their country until April 15.
“Uber’s compliance to the order in Singapore, indicates the feasibility of continuing its operations in the Philippines as well,” PCC Chairman Arsenio Balisacan said.
Apart from that, Balisican stated that despite Uber’s claims that they’ve left the market, they are still more than capable of operating their TNVS app in the country.
“The PCC believes that Uber is capable of operating its ride-hailing app in the country, despite its claims that it has already exited the Southeast Asia market,” He said.
The PCC has also given both TNVS providers five days to comply with their conditions, should they fail they would be forced to “show cause” within 24 hours after the five-day deadline. Other than that, they may also be subject to penalties which can range from Php 50,000 to Php 2 Million.
Lastly, in a public hearing conducted on April 5, Uber chief business officer for Asia Pacific, Brooks Entwistle, stated that the company no longer intends to return to the market. He also said that they are slowly losing ground in the market.
“Our people are gone. Our funding is gone. Our marketplace is falling apart by every day as we transition [to Grab],” Entwistle said.