Taxi-booking app provider Grab must allow drivers in Singapore to work for competing services, one of several remedies ordered by the city state’s competition watchdog following an investigation into its acquisition of rival Uber’s local business.
The Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) ruled the deal, which was completed in March and resulted in Uber exiting the Singapore market, had ultimately resulted in several anticompetitive actions including price rises and driver lock-ins that hindered the ability of rival taxi companies to compete with Grab.
In a statement, the watchdog said the transaction had “led to a substantial lessening of competition” in Singapore’s taxi-booking app market by removing Grab’s closest competitor. The company was thus left with a market share of at least 80 per cent, a grip which made it hard for “several small players” that have recently entered the market to build a meaningful share.
CCCS added Grab’s driver exclusivity requirements “hamper the ability of potential competitors to access drivers and vehicles” needed to expand their service.
Terms of the acquisition left Uber with a 27.5 per cent stake in Grab’s Singapore business.
In addition to its order over driver exclusivity, the CCCS also fined Grab and Uber a combined SGD13 million ($9.5 million), with Uber required to pay SGD6.58 million and Grab SGD6.42 million. The watchdog also made several rulings around the price of taxi journeys.