PCC says it can block Grab-Uber deal

Michelle Ong, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 27 2018 05:24 PM | Updated as of Dec 27 2018 09:54 AM

MANILA - The Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) on Tuesday said it can still block the Grab-Uber deal even if the transaction's value is smaller than what was set under the anti-trust regulations. 

PCC Chairman Arsenio Balisacan reiterated that if the Grab-Uber deal meets the thresholds set by the agency for mandatory notification, the PCC will not allow the deal to push through until it has reviewed the details of the transaction.

The thresholds are set at P2 billion in transaction value and P5 billion for the value of either party, while the review is set at a maximum of 30 days. 

Grab's acquisition of Uber's Southeast Asia business has been described as the largest of its kind in the region. 

The PCC has clarified that it will be only looking at the value of the local units of Uber and Grab.

Balisacan, however, added that even if the deal and the parties do not meet the PCC's thresholds, the commission can still review and block the deal if it's anti-competitive.

“We have to establish an analysis that transaction could lead to lessening of competition, if that’s the case and we tell the parties that information and if they don’t address concerns to our satisfaction, we will disallow the transaction.”

He said the PCC is looking at the Grab-Uber deal very closely for possible anti-competitive effects, and will not hesitate to protect consumers.

But Balisacan said that based on their past experience, these companies usually come forward and volunteer suggestions on how to address anti-competitive concerns.

“We may actually undertake a motu propio review of the transaction. Once that’s known, they may come forward and try to discuss with us what’s our concerns. They come forward with remedies to avoid this costly process of undoing a consummated transaction.”

Balisacan said Grab and Uber officials will meet with them next Monday, April 2.