Competition watchdog shouldn't wait till deal is done to react

The actions of the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore with regard to Grab's acquisition of Uber are akin to closing the stable door after the horse has bolted (S'pore competition watchdog stalls Grab-Uber merger; April 14).

How is it going to enforce its interim measures to ensure that Uber continues to support users here when Uber has already pulled out of Singapore?

The commission was set up to look into monopolistic actions and protect the interests of consumers.

It should be empowered by legislation to ensure consumers' interests are protected when a company is bought out by a rival.

This should include requiring companies to consult or inform it when they intend to take a certain course of action that would potentially create a monopoly.

It should react before the parties shake hands on the deal rather than try to put a stop to it after it has been completed and announced.

This episode shows how effectively (or otherwise) the commissionplays its role as the watchdog against anti-competitive action by commercial entities in Singapore.

Unfortunately, the impression one gets is that the commission is a toothless tiger.

Gabriel Cheng Kian Tiong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 17, 2018, with the headline 'Competition watchdog shouldn't wait till deal is done to react'. Print Edition | Subscribe