Uber app to cease after this weekend; competition watchdog yet to complete probe into Grab-Uber merger

A Comfort Delgro taxi with an advertisement offering services on Uber.
A Comfort Delgro taxi with an advertisement offering services on Uber.PHOTO: AFP

SINGAPORE - The Uber app will cease here after this weekend, ending the American company's five-year foray into Singapore's taxi market.

In response to queries from The Straits Times, the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) said: "Uber is not obliged to extend its app after May 7, 2018 under the interim measures."

The commission ordered the app to be extended twice since the US company sold its regional business to rival Grab in March.

It said the extension was to help "smooth transition for riders and drivers, and was not meant to be permanent".

That however, does not mean the CCCS is approving the acquisition. The commission said it has not completed its deliberations. 

"CCCS does not expect to complete the investigation by May 7, as further information is still being sought from parties," a commission spokesman said.

In the meantime, the interim measures - such as removing any exclusive arrangement with drivers and not accessing Uber data - will remain for Grab "while CCCS is investigating the transaction".

The CCCS has not made known findings of an earlier probe into taxi giant ComfortDelGro's alliance with Uber either.

Meanwhile, ComfortDelGro is seen waiting out its acquisition of a majority stake in Uber's Lion City Rentals. The deal, worth more than $640 million, is in limbo since Uber's exit from South-east Asia. 

The listed taxi operator is said to be in talks with Indonesian app provider Go-Jek, which is keen to enter the small and competitive Singapore market.