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Grab Philippines acquires Move It

Rides, delivery, food and retail platform Grab Philippines on Thursday announced it has acquired motorcycle taxi firm Move It, paving the way for the company to enter the motorcycle taxi market.

“We concluded a deal to acquire Move It's operation in the Philippines,” Grab Philippines senior director for operations and strategy Ronald Roda said at a press briefing in Pasig City.

Roda said that Move It will not be merged with Grab, and it will continue to operate as a separate entity and use its own platform.

“There's a change in ownership, but there's no merger of operations,” he said.

The Grab Philippines official declined to disclose the cost of the transaction. However, he said that the amount is below the Philippine Competition Commission’s (PCC) P1-billion threshold for compulsory notification of mergers and acquisitions.

This comes came nearly a year after Grab announced a partnership with Move It that enabled the latter’s motorcycle taxi hailing services to be booked through the Grab app. 

The partnership, however, was stopped by the Department of Transportation’s Motorcycle Taxi Technical Working Group (TWG), saying that the collaboration violated provisions of the motorcycle taxi pilot study, because Grab’s application instead of Move It's application was used to avail, book, and pay for the ride services; and because the entire process of training, driver onboarding, marketing, issuance of official receipts and the use of the Grab Driver app was all undertaken by Grab.

The TWG also said that the motorcycle taxi study does not include a fourth player. The three players included in the motorcycle taxi pilot study are Angkas, JoyRide, and Move It.

The TWG said Grab, through the collaboration, was able to find inclusion in the study as a “de facto” member, which could have given the impression that Move It relinquished its operations to Grab.

Grab Philippines director for public affairs Sherielysse Bonifacio said the company has done its “thorough due diligence” before the acquisition was concluded.

Bonifacio said that there are no legal impediments to the transaction, as long as Grab and Move It comply with the motorcycle taxi pilot study’s regulations.

She added that both parties also reached out to the Senate and the House of Representatives to discuss legal issues concerning the transaction.

Roda said Grab will help Move It scale its existing motorcycle taxi fleet of “[fewer] than 1,000,” targeting to add at least 6,000 more partner-riders to maximize its allotment of 7,000 riders in the pilot study.

He said that Francis Juan will continue to lead Move IT in his capacity as chairman, leveraging his deep knowledge on the motorcycle taxi industry to better address market gaps, and leverage untapped market opportunities. — BM, GMA News