PCC gives Grab more time to comply with competition requirements

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 13) — The Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) is giving Grab more time to comply with its initial price and service commitments after its merger with Uber, as the anti-trust body found that competition has not improved in the ride-hailing market despite these commitments.

The 71-day extension from August 11 to October 20 would give way for talks between the anti-trust body and Grab on new or amended set of commitments by the ride-hailing company.

“The task ahead for PCC and Grab is to ink a renewed set of commitments that is fair and reasonable and that protects consumers from Grab’s currently unchallenged dominance in the market. We also hope to raise the level of competitive intensity in the market and bring about market conditions conducive to new entrants,” PCC chair Arsenio Balisacan said.

Should they fail to reach an agreement on a new set of voluntary commitments by October 5, the PCC’s approval of the Grab-Uber merger will be reevaluated. This may pave the way for it to be rejected.

The PCC earlier required Grab to comply with a set of commitments to restore pricing and service quality before its merger with Uber, which sold its business to the Singapore-based ride-hailing company when it exited Southeast Asian markets last year.

Among these commitments are bringing the average acceptance and cancellation rates to the level they were at before the merger, maintaining pricing at a level comparable to the period before the merger and ensuring transparency in fares.

“These commitments are designed to maintain conditions in the market as if Uber or another competitor is present to set a competitive constraint on Grab. The commitments were also meant to prevent Grab from making it difficult for new players to enter and grow in the ride-hailing market,” the PCC said.

READ: Anti-trust body sees 'virtual monopoly' in Grab-Uber merger

The PCC can slap a fine of up to ₱2 million for every violation Grab makes. In January, the anti-trust body fined Grab ₱6.5 million for submitting insufficient data on fare monitoring.

CNN Philippines Multi-platform News Writer Melissa Luz Lopez contributed to this report.