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Vietnam opens investigation into Grab’s acquisition of Uber

By Nguyen Hoai   April 13, 2018 | 07:53 pm PT
Vietnam opens investigation into Grab’s acquisition of Uber
Vietnamese motorbike drivers wearing Grab costumes wait for their customers in Hanoi. Photo by AFP
Grab is suspected of breaching Vietnam's antitrust laws.

Vietnam is investigating whether Grab violated Competition Law in its recent acquisition of Uber, authorities said on Friday.

The investigation will take 30 days and comes after Grab failed to provide adequate evidence to prove that it hasn't formed a monopoly in Vietnam, the Competition and Consumer Protection Department (CCPD) of the Ministry of Industry and Trade said.

The ride-hailing firm claimed that its combined market share with Uber in Vietnam is less than 30 percent, so it does not have to “inform to the competition authority before proceeding and completing this transaction in Vietnam.”

Vietnam’s Competition Law states that a company that acquires a combined market share of between 30 percent and 50 percent without informing the competition authority will be fined 10 percent of its preceding fiscal year’s total revenue.

The transaction may even be prohibited should the market share exceed 50 percent, the law says.

Vietnam is not the only country where Grab is currently under fire. Other Asian countries such as Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore, are all requesting a detailed explanation of the company’s acquisition of Uber.

Ride-hailing firm Uber Technologies Inc announced it had agreed to sell its Southeast Asian business to bigger regional rival Grab in the end of last month. The app company officially left Vietnam on April 8.

In the wake of the takeover, local taxi firms are stepping up their game by offering new incentives to drivers, with Phuong Trang investing $100 million in a rival ride-hailing app called Vato (previously known as Vivu).

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