Grab-Uber deal: Vietnam’s competition watchdog finds signs of violation

Friday, 2018-12-14 10:26:23
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Grab could face a fine of up to 10% of its revenues for the takeover of Uber's Southeast Asia business. (Photo: VCA)
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NDO - The Vietnam Competition Authority (VCA) has determined that Grab’s acquisition of Uber’s Southeast Asia business showed signs of violating Vietnamese competition law.

The VCA said in a statement on December 12 that the deal could violate Articles 18 and 20 of Vietnam’s competition law.

Article 18 stipulates that a merger will be banned if the enterprises involved have a combined market share of more than 50% in the relevant market while Article 20 requires the notification of the merger to the competition body when the combined share is between 30% and 50%.

The law also states that companies could face fines of up to 10% of their total revenues in the previous financial year if they fail to notify the competition regulatory agency of the merger.

The VCA has transferred its investigative report, conclusion and the case documents to the Vietnam Competition Council, which will deliver the final verdict.

The council may return the files for further investigation, suspend dealing with the case or open a hearing to make a decision on how to deal with the case.

Last September, the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore fined Grab and Uber a total of US$9.5 million for the merger deal, which it said has led to” a substantial lessening of competition” in the ride-hailing market.

Following the VCA’s conclusion, Grab Vietnam’s head Jerry Lim stated that the key could lie in the difference between Grab and the competition body in the understanding and interpretation of the relevant market and the characteristics of a competitive market.