Uber to continue operations in Singapore till May 7: competition watchdog

(Reuters file photo)

Singapore’s competition watchdog on Friday (13 April) outlined a number of interim measures as it continued investigation into ride-hailing firm Grab’s deal to buy rival Uber Technologies’ business in Southeast Asia.

The Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) said the measures include preventing Grab to take over operational data from Uber to enhance its market position, adding that Uber would continue to operate in Singapore until May 7 to smoothen the transition.

The statement by CCCS comes after it had previously given an extension of Uber’s business to 15 April.

Other measures include ensuring that drivers are not subjected to “exclusivity agreements” and making sure the ride-hailing firms maintain their pre-merger pricing and commission levels.

Head of Grab Singapore Lim Kell Jay said, “We trust that the CCCS’ review takes into account a dynamic industry that is constantly evolving, highly competitive, and being disrupted by technology and new services. The interim measures should not have the unintended effect of hampering competition and restricting businesses that have already been investing in the country over the years.”

He added that the company has noted the CCCS’ objective of giving drivers choice, and “are fully supportive of extending our platform to all taxi drivers, including ComfortDelGro drivers who are still constrained from picking up JustGrab jobs”.

“We will work within the set constraints and continue to focus on building better products to compete, ensuring fairness for passengers and drivers, and cultivating the local tech talent pool through our regional R&D centre in Singapore,” said Lim.

In a separate statement, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said it supports the interim measures issued by CCCS to Grab and Uber.

“LTA is in the process of reviewing the broader regulatory framework for the P2P (point-to-point) sector, including studying how to structure the sector and license private hire car (PHC) booking service operators. This is to ensure the sector remains open and contestable and no single operator dominates the market to the detriment of commuters and drivers,” said the LTA. – WITH REUTERS

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