PCC orders stop of Uber sale to Grab

Published April 5, 2018, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

The Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) yesterday asked both Uber to Grab to maintain and continue separate operations pending the completion of the motu propio review the anti-trust body is currently undertaking.

This is part of the interim measures the PCC adopted and announced during the public hearing Thursday on the case. The objective of the interim measures is to preserve the transaction state and ensure the integrity of the review, unbiased and reflective of actual market condition.

Commissioner Stella Quimbo explained that the PCC order means that Grab and Uber apps to continue and operate beyond April 9, 2018. They are also ordered to maintain and operate independently from each other prior to March 25, 2018. They must also refrain from sharing of information of drivers and riders’ data, sales, marketing, pricing and refrain from further acts that may prejudice PCC action.

L. Brooks Entwistle, Uber Chief business officer and Regional business manager for Asia Pacific, said they have already exited from the eight markets in Southeast Asia where they’ve been operating for four years, but have lost $700 million and for the company better invest in other strategic markets. Uber is still operating in other 77 countries.

“We have priorities for capital for appropriation and resources are limited. We are not public we are private, so we focus on other parts of the world,” the Uber official said.

“Uber has exited, not want to operate. It is a commercial operation, and it will not have fund and resources to support the app.” Uber has also transitioning and migrating its people to Grab.

However, Atty. Arlene Meneja, Grab external lead counsel, said the interim measures issued by PCC is unnecessary as she noted of the huge relevant market in the Philippines that can be alternative to the market that may be left by Uber. Maneja also pledged of their full cooperation to the PCC.

Maneja also said that they are not acquiring Uber drivers’ data without consent of the driver and accepting Uber employees subject to the employes consent. This means there is no integration of both companies’ businesses, she said. As such, Maneja said they have no access to the data of Uber and to pricing mechanism and policies related to sales.

Uber will continue to operate in their other jurisdiction but not in Southeast Asia where they sold to Grab.

“In reality, the interim measure is not necessary,” said Maneja noting the concerns are not real in their case and the decision of the transaction is purely a management prerogative.