Solon wants Indonesian ride-hailing app to compete with Grab PH


House Deputy Minority Leader Luis Campos Jr. on Saturday said an Indonesian ride-hailing app should compete with transport network company Grab in the Philippines following the latter’s acquisition of Uber.

Campos, Makati City’s 2nd district representative, said the Jakarta-based “Go-Jek” has more than 400,000 motor vehicles and drivers. He also said it is the “most popular ride-hailing app in the world’s fourth most populous country.”

“No matter how you look at it, the combination of the regional businesses of Uber and Grab not only reduces but effectively eliminates competition in the Philippine ride-hailing market,” Campos said in a statement.

“To counteract the merger and reestablish competition, we may have to encourage other large suppliers such as Go-Jek to come in right away,” the deputy minority leader said.

Campos said he would have preferred that Uber, Grab and Go-Jek were “all here in the Philippines fiercely competing against each other.”

“Three players are better than two. But if we can’t have three, two is better than one,” he said.

The lawmaker noted that in “ideal markets ruled by formidable anti-trust regulators,” a merger that gets rid of competition “may not be permitted until a substitute challenger comes in.”

That was why lawmakers, Campos said, were counting on the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) to look into the Uber-Grab merger.

“Assuming the deal qualifies as a covered transaction, then we expect the anti-trust body to perform its duty in ensuring that businesses compete and that consumers benefit,” Campos said.

“The PCC is mandated by law to prohibit anti-competitive business agreements, abuses of dominant position, as well as mergers and acquisitions that lessen competition,” the lawmaker noted. –By: Julius N. Leonen

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