CCCS took into account interests of drivers and riders

We refer to the letters by Mr Alex Lim and Mr Kenny Lim (Anti-competition conditions for Grab affect drivers, and Competition watchdog should add taxis to ride-hailing market definition, respectively; both published on Sept 26).

The Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore's (CCCS) measures seek to create an open, competitive environment to enable new and existing players to compete effectively, so as to benefit drivers and riders alike.

Mr Alex Lim stated that CCCS' decision did not take the interest of Grab drivers into consideration.

Our decision, in fact, took into account the interests of both drivers and riders.

For drivers, our measures include ensuring that commissions that drivers have to pay Grab are not increased beyond pre-merger levels. Dynamic pricing is still allowed, meaning that fares can respond to peak and non-peak conditions, subject to base and surge fare controls to prevent excessive fares.

We also required Grab to allow drivers to operate on their platform on a non-exclusive basis to widen drivers' choice of ride-hailing platforms.

With regard to Mr Kenny Lim's letter, CCCS would like to clarify that our market definition includes taxi bookings, and excludes only street-hailed taxis.

We agree with him that riders compare prices and promotions between taxis and private-hire cars when booking a ride. It is why we included taxi bookings in our market definition to reflect consumer behaviours accurately.

Our statistics also show that when Uber ended its operations in April and May this year, many riders switched to Grab, but there was no obvious increase in street-hailed taxi rides.

Herbert Fung

Director (Business and Economics)

Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 05, 2018, with the headline 'CCCS took into account interests of drivers and riders'. Print Edition | Subscribe