Uber, Grab asked to explain failure to continue separate services

Ahead of a busy weekend shuttling passengers Uber drivers are facing increased security measures including more background checks

Ahead of a busy weekend shuttling passengers Uber drivers are facing increased security measures including more background checks

UBER has officially left the Philippines, defying the Philippine Competition Commission's (PCC) order to continue operating independently while the antitrust body completes the review of the acquisition of Uber by rival Grab.

Originally, Uber was to cease operations after April 8, but the TNC acceded to a request by the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) for a week's extension for a smoother transition. Users were advised to download the Grab app and register with Grab in order to book rides.

Singapore on Friday imposed restrictions on ride-hailing firm Grab's acquisition of Uber's Southeast Asian business until it concludes a probe into whether the sale may have infringed competition rules. The accreditation of new TNCs (transport network companies) is a welcome development to allow passengers to have more choices.

The PCC said Uber's shutdown of its app will not derail the motu propio review of the merger.

"When a big player buys out its competitor, there will be many economic and legal factors that need to be scrutinized", Balisacan said.

"We intend to expedite the completion of the review ahead of the allowed time frame, given how it is imbued with public interest", he said.

Last April 7, the PCC ordered Grab and Uber to continue operating their apps separately until the commission finishes its review of the the merger, which could take up to a month.

"This development may have rendered the review conditions to be less than ideal".

Grab, which is headquartered in Singapore, last month agreed to buy Uber's food- and ride-hailing operations in the region, ending a battle between the companies and marking the U.S. firm's latest retreat from worldwide markets.

"Uber is not truly exiting the Philippine market, but rather effectively merging their operations with Grab here".

Representatives of Grab and Uber met with the antitrust commission on April 2, and claimed that their transaction is not covered by the compulsory notification requirements under Section 17 of the Philippine Competition Act.

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