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AFTER ACQUISITION DEAL

Grab, Uber to merge Philippine operations


Grab Philippines and Uber Technologies Inc. are implementing an operational merger in the country on the heels of an acquisition deal between the two Transport Network Companies.(TNCs).

“I would like to reassure the government and the public that we continue to work in a collaborative and open manner, as we have done in the past,” Grab Philippines country manager Brian Cu said in an emailed statement on Monday.

Uber Technologies has agreed to sell its Southeast Asian business to regional rival Grab, the firms said in a separate statement on Monday.

“The combined services of Grab and Uber signal a wider network of TNVS drivers and passengers and improved ridesharing services,” Cu said.

GMA News Online has reached out to officials of both Grab and Uber for more details on how the deal would really impact on their Philippine operations, but no response has been received as of this posting.

In regional terms, Uber will take a 27.5-percent stake in Grab, and Uber CEO Dara Khrosrowshahi will join Grab’s board.

Two-week transition

According to Grab, there will be a two-week transition period for Uber drivers to migrate to the Grab platform.

“The Uber app will continue to operate for two weeks to ensure stability for Uber drivers, who can find out how to sign-up to drive with Grab online,” it said.

“Uber Eats will run until the end of May, after which Uber delivery and restaurant partners will move to the GrabFood platform,” Grab Philippines said.

Uber drivers migrating to the Grab system will get full support.

“We are very excited to welcome Uber drivers to our Grab family. They have our full support and resources in this time of transition,” Cu said.

“We will continue to work and collaborate with the Department of Transportation (DOTr), Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), local government units and other stakeholders to constantly find ways to improve our services,” he said.

Last month, the LTFRB set a limit of 66,750 units for all transport network vehicle services (TNVS) in the country.

Of the total, 65,000 units will in Metro Manila, 1,500 units in Metro Cebu, and 250 units in Pampanga.

Last year, the LTFRB also ordered both TNCs to deactivate drivers who were accredited to their respective platforms after June 30, 2017, when the government temporarily halted accepting application for new TNVS drivers.

Despite the suspension, the LTFRB said Uber continued to process new applications, which led to a month-long suspension of the TNC.

Uber then negotiated with the government, and was allowed to pay a P190-million fine instead of a month-long suspension.

The LTFRB also slapped both Grab and Uber with a P5-million fine respectively for various violations of terms and conditions such as allowing drivers to operate even without the necessary requirements. —VDS, GMA News

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