Singapore's competition watchdog fines Grab and Uber but can fair play resume?

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SINGAPORE (Oct 1): Choo was earning up to S$5,000 a month when he first started driving for ride-hailing start-up Grab some three years ago. But after a merger between Grab and Uber Technologies in March this year, the 66-year-old, who asked to be identified only by his last name, has seen his monthly earnings nearly halved. And Choo is not alone. According to the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS), it has received numerous complaints from both riders and drivers on the increase in effective fares and commissions by Grab following the merger.

Singapore’s competition watchdog on Sept 24 issued an infringement decision, assessing that the Grab-Uber merger had resulted in “a substantial lessening of competition” in the ride-hailing space.

Effectively, CCCS says Grab’s fares have increased between 10% and 15% after the merger. Grab has denied this allegation. “Grab is committed to fair pricing and has not raised fares since the transaction,” says Lim Kell Jay, head of Grab Singapore. In March, Grab acquired Uber’s Southeast Asian business, which resulted in the integration of Uber’s regional ride-sharing and food delivery business with Grab’s existing multi-modal transportation and fintech platform. In exchange, Uber took a 27.5% stake in Grab, with CEO Dara Khosrowshahi... (Click here to read the full story)