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After Singapore, Malaysia to relook Grab-Uber marriage

KUALA LUMPUR — Malaysia's Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) will meet with the country's Competition Commission (MyCC) soon over reports that Grab's takeover of ride-hailing rival Uber may have violated competition laws in Singapore.

After Singapore, Malaysia to relook Grab-Uber marriage

Minister in Prime Minister’s Department Nancy Shukri said Grab had assured her during a meeting prior to the announced takeover that the deal would not affect existing fare structures. Photo: Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR — Malaysia's Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) will meet with the country's Competition Commission (MyCC) soon over reports that Grab's takeover of ride-hailing rival Uber may have violated competition laws in Singapore.

Minister in Prime Minister's Department Nancy Shukri said Grab had assured her during a meeting prior to the announced takeover that the deal would not affect existing fare structures.

"In the light of Singapore's findings, however, SPAD and MYCC will have to look into things to see if there is violation of the Competition Act here," she told Malay Mail when contacted.

Users previously told Malay Mail they were concerned that Grab's acquisition of Uber will eliminate competition in the ride-hailing market, causing fares to rise and service quality to decline.

Prior to the minister's remarks on Friday (March 30), both Malaysian agencies had said they would monitor Grab to ensure that it does not abuse its new dominance of the e-hailing market.

Earlier on Friday, the Competition Commission of Singapore said it found reasonable grounds to suspect the deal for Grab to buy out Uber Technologies Inc's network in the region was detrimental to competition in the republic.

The Singaporean agency said it has commenced an investigation into the transaction and proposed interim measures that will require Uber and Grab to maintain their pre-transaction independent pricing.

On March 26, Grab confirmed that it was acquiring all of Uber's Southeast Asian operations including food delivery service Uber Eats.

In return, Uber will receive a 27.5 per cent stake in Grab and a place for its chief executive officer Dara Khosrowshahi on Grab's board.

The majority owner of both companies is Japanese firm Softbank Group Corp.

Following the announced takeover, Uber allegedly gave its administrative employees in Malaysia and Singapore just two hours to clear out their belongings from their local offices.

The move raised questions about the future of the workers, but Uber later clarified that no employees would be laid off as a result of the acquisition.

Some existing Uber drivers are also concerned they may not be absorbed by Grab due to its purportedly stricter rules, while others are concerned the firm will pay less than Uber.

Singapore-based Grab was founded by Malaysian Anthony Tan, 36, and his Harvard University classmate Tan Hooi Ling. MALAY MAIL ONLINE

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