Singapore Imposes Big Restrictions on Sale of Uber Southeast Asia

On March 26 we learned that Uber was selling its Southeast Asia business to Grab and shutting down operations in Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar, Philippines, and Vietnam in two weeks.

Singapore’s competition regulators stepped in to halt the sale.

Now a resolution has been reached.

  • Uber will continue to be available in Singapore through May 7
  • Grab cannot force drivers into an exclusivity arrangement, so they can drive for another platform too
  • Drivers renting their cars can’t be penalized either if they use those cars on another platform
  • Grab cannot be the only service with an exclusivity deal with a taxi company, if no other ridesharing service has one Grab has to drop theirs
  • Grab cannot inherit Uber trip data. “Grab may however receive personal data of drivers, riders and merchants (eg, names, contact details, and supporting documents for vocation licence applications) who have expressly opted in and moved to the Grab platform.”
  • Grab cannot raise prices, lower driver pay, or drop ride options.

These limitations of course only apply to the Singapore market.

(HT: Devid H.)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. That’s some pretty harsh antitrust measures by not allowing Grab to raise prices, lower pay or drop ride prices. It can’t be an indefinite measure

  2. @Hal, no it’s lip service to appeal to the electorate, like many actions by the regulators in Singapore. In reality, the bulk of the rider subsidies and the driver commissions were made up by promotional discounts and monthly volume spiffs that changed all the time anyway.

    Those discounts will go away, the driver spiffs will continue to go down, and Grab will make a lot more money (OK, lose a lot less money) without seemingly raising prices or lowering pay.

  3. Singapore resident here – Uber is pretty much dead already- Grab surges are crazy. I’m mainly back to taking regular taxis.

    Comfort has a good app and you can link to masterpass, though best to street hail to avoid a booking fee, note that some taxis e.g. red ones won’t take card. Usually marked clearly on the door

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