MANILA, Philippines – Following the unification of Grab and Uber’s operations in the country, a lawmaker suggested to bring in Indonesia’s top ride-hailing service, Go-Jek.
This would promote competition in the Philippine market, House Deputy Minority Leader and Makati City 2nd District Representative Luis Campos Jr said in a statement on Saturday, March 31.
“To counteract the merger and reestablish competition, we may have to encourage other large suppliers such as Go-Jek to come in right away,” said Campos.
Go-Jek, based in Jakarta, is the most popular ride-hailing and logistics services app in Indonesia.
“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,” the lawmaker said.
On March 26, Uber announced it sold to Grab its Southeast Asia operations. In return, Uber will get a 27.5% stake in Grab’s business.
By April 8, Uber drivers would have migrated to Grab. (READ: As Uber gives up Philippine operations to Grab, what now for commuters?)
Campos added he would have preferred that Uber, Grab, and Go-Jek were competing against each other in the Philippines. “Three players are better than two. But if we can’t have 3, two is better than one,” he said.
Go over Uber-Grab deal
Campos also said that lawmakers are counting on the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) to pore over the Uber-Grab deal. (READ: [OPINION] How the looming Grab monopoly will impact on Filipino commuters)
“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,” he said.
PCC Chairman Arsenio Balisacan said in a statement that if the parties meet the new threshold for reviewing merger and acquisition transactions, they “should notify at the PCC within 30 days after signing their definitive agreement.”
Campos argued that in ideal markets ruled by anti-trust regulators, “a business combination that gets rid of the competition may not be permitted until a substitute challenger comes in.”
He added that anti-trust regulators “may also compel the unloading party to sell its business to two separate buyers, instead of dealing with a lone acquirer.” – Michael Bueza/Rappler.com
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