Govt okays merger between Grab and Uber

The authorities will, however, take action if the merger leads to a monopoly


On top of concerns over a potential monopoly which could lead to fare hikes, as well as lower incentives for drivers, the government has no objections to the merger between e-hailing companies Grab and Uber Technologies Inc.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri said the government is convinced that Grab — which acquired its South-East Asian competitor Uber last week — will not affect the local e-hailing scene.

According to Nancy, the authorities have yet to run any investigations on Grab, as the e-hailing service provider has not committed any offence under the Competition Act 2010, she told The Malaysian Reserve.

Nancy said the authorities will, however, take action if the merger leads to a monopoly.

“At present, there is nothing to investigate. We have alerted our officers to monitor complaints on any fare hike or any other wrongdoings,” she explained.

She said during her discussion with Grab, the company assured her that there would be no changes in the fares or the operating system after the acquisition.

“We have been dealing with Grab in Malaysia since the beginning, and so far, they have been very cooperative with us,” she added.

Nancy said Uber drivers in the country will be absorbed into Grab’s system by next Monday.

“Existing Uber drivers have been given two weeks after March 26 to transit from the old application to Grab’s system,” she said.

The 80 over staff members of Uber Malaysia were also asked to go on a three-month paid leave before Grab can re-offer them employment.

“During my discussion with them, I asked them why Uber staffs were asked to leave within two hours.

“Grab told me it was to allow for a fresh employment offer, based on individual applications,” she said.

On March 26, Grab acquired Uber’s South-East Asia operations and began the merge of both ride-hailing companies’ operations in the region.

The biggest shareholder under the agreement for both companies is Japanese firm SoftBank Group Corp.

Grab acquires all of Uber’s operations including food delivery service Uber Eats.

In return, Uber’s CEO Dara Khosrowshahi — set to join Grab’s board — gets a 27.5% stake in Grab.