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Competition Commission still assessing impact of Uber-ComfortDelGro alliance

THE Competition Commission of Singapore said on Monday that it has not been able to determine that competition concerns will not arise from the proposed alliance between ComfortDelGro Corp and Uber Technologies, and will enter a second stage of deliberation on the matter.

In December last year, ComfortDelGro, Singapore's largest taxi operator, proposed to acquire a 51 per cent stake in Uber's rental car business, Lion City Holdings.

With the joint venture, ComfortDelGro's taxis and Lion City Rental's private-hire cars will come under a centralised fleet management system, which will handle the dispatching of vehicles to customers.

The deal is subject to regulatory approval.

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On Monday, the Competition Commission told Uber and ComfortDelGro that it had concluded an initial review of the proposed alliance but further analysis was required.

Some of the issues the Commission will study further include whether the entry barriers to the food delivery services business will be raised; whether the availability of taxis for street-hail and phone booking will be affected; and whether the proposed tie-up will result in shorter waiting times for commuters and more job opportunities for drivers.

The Commission will also solicit public feedback and views.

As of Jan 19, Uber and Comfort have already launched their uberFLASH service, which constitutes part of the proposed alliance that is under review.

The Commission said that an immunity from financial penalty generally applies until it issues its decision.

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