Tell it to SunStar: Need for other suppliers

FOLLOWING Uber’s decision to sell its Philippine operations to rival Grab, we think it is time for other large suppliers like Go-Jek, Indonesia’s top technology firm that offers ride-hailing and logistics services to come in and compete with surviving giant Grab.

No matter how you look at it, the combination of the regional businesses of Uber and Grab not only reduces but effectively eliminates competition in the Philippine ride-hailing market. To counteract the merger and reestablish competition, we may have to encourage other large suppliers such as Go-Jek to come in right away.

With more than 400,000 motor vehicles and drivers, Jakarta-based Go-Jek is the most popular ride-hailing app in the world’s fourth most populous country.

All the same, lawmakers are counting on the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) to pore over the Uber-Grab unification. Assuming the deal qualifies as a covered transaction, then we expect the anti-trust body to perform its duty in ensuring that businesses compete and that consumers benefit.

The PCC is mandated by law to prohibit anti-competitive business agreements, abuses of dominant position, as well as mergers and acquisitions that lessen competition.

San Francisco, California-based Uber disclosed on Mar. 26 that it had agreed to sell its entire Southeast Asian operations to regional contender and Singapore-based Grab for an undisclosed amount, and in return for a 27.5 percent equity stake in Grab.

Here in the Philippines, the consolidation means that Grab will be running more than 50,000 cars and drivers.--Rep. Luis N. Campos Jr.
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