Friday, April 19, 2024

PCC says Grab PH does not need approval to acquire rival Move It

Based on an initial assessment by the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC), Grab Philippines’ acquisition of its smaller rival Move It “likely did not breach” the thresholds for compulsory notification.

PCC officer-in-charge Johannes R. Bernabe
Photo from PCC

“Hence, the parties need not wait for approval from the PCC to consummate the transaction,” PCC officer-in-charge Johannes R. Bernabe said in a statement.

Publicly available information suggests that the transaction was entered into by the parties when the P50-billion notification thresholds under Republic Act No. 11494 or the “Bayanihan to Heal as One Act” was in effect.

But the PCC noted that the publicly announced size of transaction seems to not have breached the thresholds under the Bayanihan Law.

“However, the PCC may still launch a motu proprio review of the transaction if it finds reasonable grounds to believe that the deal will result in substantial lessening of competition in the relevant markets,” Bernabe said.

Transactions in digital markets are often characterized by small tangible assets that fail to meet the triggers for mandatory review. But Bernabe said their importance and utility to consumers rank high in the priorities of the competition agency. 

“To note, this new acquisition by Grab Philippines will not affect the company’s existing legal commitments to the PCC relating to its takeover of Uber,” Bernabe stressed.

The PCC earlier expressed its support in amending the Land Transportation and Traffic Code to allow two-wheeled vehicles as a mode of public transportation.

“Notwithstanding any comprehensive competition review, the Commission considers the availability of motorcycle taxis and future expansion for the entry of more players as an indicator of an emerging market offering additional public transport options for commuters,” it said.

“For concerns relating to passenger safety, accreditation, and eventual franchising of motorcycle taxis, the PCC defers to the Department of Transportation (DOTr), the Land Transportation Office (LTO), and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB),” it added.

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