Grab to appeal Singapore regulator’s ruling its Uber deal infringed competition rules

A Grab taxi in SingaporeA Grab taxi in Singapore

Ride-hailing service Grab said on Thursday that it disagreed with the ruling from Singapore’s regulators that its deal to buy rival Uber infringed competition rules and that it would appeal.

The Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore ruled on Thursday that the merger of the ride-hailing services infringed the Competition Act and “substantially” lessened competition.

It also proposed a series of harsh remedies, including eliminating Grab’s exclusivity deals with drivers and taxi companies, and said it was proposing financial penalties on both Uber and Grab. It also said it might order the deal to be unwound if the remedies weren’t sufficient to restore competition.

A Grab spokesperson said that the CCCS’ definition of competition appeared to be “very narrow.”

“While we are one of the most visible players in transport, we are not the only player in the market. CCCS has not taken into account the dynamic developments and intense competition going on over the past few months, from both new and incumbent taxi and ride-hailing players,” the Grab spokesperson said in an emailed statement on Thursday.

It added that it had conducted the acquisition legally and in full compliance with Singapore’s laws; Grab also said that it fully cooperated with the regulator’s review and with interim measures from CCCS.

“This provisional decision and proposed remedies are overreaching and go against Singapore’s pro-innovation and pro-business regulations in a free market economy,” Grab said

It noted that the proposed decision wasn’t yet final and that Grab would take appropriate steps to appeal.