Photo of Uber and Grab offices from Straits Times

Toothless competition watchdog, Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS), yesterday (Apr 13) issued a threat claiming that it is “stopping” the merger of Uber and Grab. The Singapore government even issued a few redundant “interim measures”, which it claims can “stop” the merger. One of the measures include the transfer of Uber’s database over to Grab, which is already completed on the day of merger last month (Mar 26).

“The Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (“CCCS”) has today issued Interim Measures Directions (“IMD”) to Grab1 and Uber 2 (collectively, the “Parties”) which will help ensure that the market remains open and contestable…The key measures in the IMD require the following5: removal of exclusivity, obligations on drivers, prevention of Uber’s operational data from being used by Grab to enhance its market position, preserving pre-Transaction pricing and commission levels, and ensuring drivers and riders are free to choose their preferred platform.”

A Philippines media interview with Uber’s Asia Pacific chief business officer Brooks Entwistle however said they would not honour any competition law enforced by any of the 8 affected countries:

“From a business standpoint, Uber exited 8 markets, including the Phiippines, as of Monday. Now, I look after 10 markets, instead of 18. Our funding is gone. Our people are gone. We don’t intend to come back to these markets.”

The news of Uber selling it’s operations to Grab have so far dealt little impact on drivers and commuters. However in Singapore, Temasek Holdings’s subsidiaries-owned ComfortDelgro paid S$652 million to acquire the use of Uber app through the purchase of car rental firm Lion City Rentings. ComfortDelgro then advised to be deleted less than 3 months after the Uber’s exit was announced.