PCC gives nod on Grab’s acquisition of Uber operations in PH

The Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) announced on Friday, Aug. 10, that it has given its approval on Grab’s acquisition of Uber’s regional operations to proceed in the country.

PCC chairman Arsenio M. Balisacan

PCC chairman Arsenio Balisacan said even with the approval of the transaction, Grab will be subjected to monitoring for a minimum of six months.

Grab submitted voluntary commitments which included improving the quality of its service by bringing back market averages for acceptance and cancellation rates before the merger happened, and its response time to rider complaints.

Grab fares shall not have an “extraordinary deviation” from the minimum allowed fares, which are set by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board.

PCC commissioner Stella Luz Quimbo said the “extraordinary deviation” should not be above 22 percentage points of the fare before the acquisition.

PCC commissioner Amabelle Asuncion, meanwhile, explained that the commitment to eliminate the “extraordinary deviation” on Grab fares aims to revert prices of ride within the pre-transaction level.

According to Asuncion, if a Grab ride fare cost P100 before it acquired Uber surged to P180 for the same route after the transaction, prices should go back to more or less P100 or only up to P120.

Grab likewise vowed for transparency by giving a fare breakdown per trip in its receipt that shall include distance, fare surges, discounts, promo reduction, and per-minute waiting charge.

The TNC will also remove the “see destination” feature for drivers with low ride acceptance rate.

The company shall also not introduce policies that will result in drivers and operators being exclusive to Grab, in order to allow them to register with other TNCs through a multi-homing scheme.

PCC commissioner Johannes Bernabe noted that these commitments shall be implemented starting Friday, Aug. 10.

The PCC said it will be monitoring Grab’s compliance with its submitted voluntary commitments through a third-party monitoring, he added. The third-party monitoring will be nominated by Grab but will be chosen by the PCC. The third-party monitoring shall also come up with a quarterly report to be submitted to the agency, it was explained.

But the monitoring expenses will be shouldered by Grab, which is expected to reach P12 million, covering a one-year period. PCC will subject Grab to fines of up to P2 million per breach of the conditions. – Kris Crismundo (PNA)

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