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CCS seeks public feedback on proposed ComfortDelGro-Uber collaboration

A PUBLIC consultation on ComfortDelGro Corporation Limited's proposed acquisition of a majority stake in Lion City Holdings Pte Ltd from Uber Technologies Inc will be held.

The consultation, which is organised by The Competition Commission of Singapore (CCS), will also seek public feedback on a strategic alliance in relation to a commercial collaboration between ComfortDelGro and Uber.

The consultation will take place from Dec 21 this year to Jan 8 next year.

According to ComfortDelGro, Lion and Uber, the three entities overlap in the rental and leasing of private cars, and the provision of taxi and chauffeur private-hire car services.

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On Thursday, CCS said in a press release that the rental car market is "extremely competitive", in view of factors such as the presence of a large number of existing competitors in the market of varying sizes, business models, combinations and scale of operations, and private-car usage, among other things, that prevent drivers from seeking other labour market opportunities.

Under the proposed acquisition, Lion will be under effective joint control of ComfortDelGro and Uber, and will operate as a full-function joint venture on a lasting basis.

Earlier this month, ComfortDelGro announced that it was intending to acquire a 51 per cent stake in Lion, an Uber-owned rental car business.

Lion City Holdings operates Lion City Rentals, which has a fleet of about 14,000 vehicles.

Uber will retain the remaining 49 per cent in the proposed acquisition.

For the proposed collaboration, Uber and ComfortDelGro taxi's smartphone mobile applications will integrate to form "uberFLASH".

CCS said that although the proposed collaboration will cover booking services for meter-fared taxi services, it will generally not cover ComfortDelGro taxi's core street hail business.

It will, among other things, involve combining fleet resources of both ComfortDelGro and Uber to cater to the transportation needs of users in Singapore.