Ride-hailing company Grab Philippines on Thursday, Jan.31, called on the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) to include in its review taxis and other modes of public transportation in the “ride-hailing competitive market.”
Marikina representative Stella Quimbo on Wednesday, Jan. 31, said Grab would continue to monopolize the ride-hailing market if transport authorities do not allow the entry of motorcycle taxi operators.
In a statement, Grab said Quimbo’s assertion revealed that on-demand and platform-based motorcycle taxis were “effectively competing” with Grab, as withdrawing motorcycle taxis would limit consumer choices on transportation.
“It is in the same spirit that we respectfully seek the PCC to review the basis for defining the competitive market in which ride-hailing services operate,” Grab stated.
It said the ride-hailing competitive market could also be broadened to include street-hailing transportation such as taxis.
“Right now, what we hope for is to review the basis for defining the competitive market and that would include motorcycle taxis and taxis as well,” Grab said.
It said the voluntary commitments (VC) made by Grab with the PCC to improve service quality, pricing and transparency following its acquisition of then competitor Uber, were “totally different” from their call to review the definition of the ride-hailing market.
“We cannot right away apply for release from VCs because there are certain market share thresholds that will have to be met per player before we can apply for release. That’s why we need the PCC to clarify the definition of competitive market,” Grab said.
Earlier, PCC Commissioner Johannes Bernabe said Grab could be released from its VCs if the company proves that its services were substitutable with motorcycle taxis and that the substitute or competitor has acquired a certain percentage or threshold in the market.
He added that once motorcycle taxis were established as a public utility vehicle, Grab would then have to prove whether four-wheeled vehicles such as Grab’s would be substitutable with two-wheeled vehicles such as motorcycle taxis. — Raymond Carl Dela Cruz (PNA)