Disallowing Grab-Uber deal will only dilute competition further

It is far better for the LTA to regulate Grab - as well as all other transport players - to ensure they play ball.

In determining whether Grab's acquisition of rival ride-hailing firm Uber is bad for consumers, the Competition Commission of Singapore and the Land Transport Authority (LTA) have their work cut out for them.

First of all, unlike the proposed (and now, irrelevant) alliance between taxi giant ComfortDelGro and Uber, the Grab-Uber deal is extremely difficult to undo. Even if it is deemed anti-competitive - which is far from clear cut - disallowing it here would lead to just one ultimatum to Grab: Scrap the deal or leave the local market.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 31, 2018, with the headline 'Disallowing Grab-Uber deal will only dilute competition further'. Print Edition | Subscribe