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Uber strips of its London license; sparks heated debates

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Monday, October 2nd, 2017

London’s Uber ban has sparked heated debates among the local residents and taxi drivers as the city’s regulator revoked its license, which expired on Saturday.

The Uber ban has upset some locals. More than 800,000 London residents have petitioned for the Uber service, as they have lost a choice for convenient commuting.

“It’s much much cheaper. It’s two-thirds much cheaper, because it is safe, and it is cheap, and it’s reliable,” said a London resident.

Despite the cheap price, safety problem is often neglected by the citizens. Moreover, the popularity of Uber resulted in a competitive taxi market in London.

“No, it’s not safe. They don’t care about it. They just care about their cheap price,” said a taxi driver.

“They work in about 18 hours a day because there are so many of them, and there is no regulation. Some of the drivers even, I even talk to them sometimes, they are complaining. Uber drivers have complained and protested about Uber’s practices,” said Steve Hayes, a taxi driver.

The ban has affected around 40,000 registered Uber drivers in London, causing full-time drivers to lose income.

Globally, Uber has endured a tumultuous few months after a string of scandals involving allegations of bullying at the company.

The app has been forced to quit several countries including Denmark and Hungary and faced regulatory battles in multiple US states and countries around the world. — Reuters

 

 

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PCC slaps Grab, Uber with P16-M fine for violating merger provisions

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, October 18th, 2018

 

MANILA, Philippines — Ride-hailing service firms, Uber and Grab are facing penalties anew over its merger deal.

The Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) has fined Grab Philippines and Uber a total of P16 million for allegedly violating key provisions of the interim measures order (IMO) during the merger review period of the anti-trust body.

The IMO was issued to the parties to maintain pre-transaction conditions to prevent actions that may prejudice the ability of the PCC to review or impose appropriate remedies.

The PCC explained that the imposition of the fine is due to the failure of the two firms to keep their operations separate pending the approval of their merger deal.

In a breakdown provided by the anti-trust body, Grab PH and Uber are ordered to pay P4 million for executing their agreement even during the review period.

Grab was also fined with P8-million while Uber with four million for failing to maintain the pre-merger business conditions.

“Dahil sa pagcomply nila sa LTFRB order ay kinailangan naming i-reduce ang fines ng Uber which is why makikita natin eight millon po ang na impose sa Grab pero para sa uber naman ay four million pesos lamang,” said PCC Commisioner Stella Quimbo.

Grab and Uber merged their operations on March 25. The anti-trust body launched a motu propio review on the merger on April 3 and three days later, the agency issued the seven interim measure for Grab and Uber.

The PCC also noted that Grab Philippines and Uber violated two of the seven interim measures. Ten counts of violations were detected on two of the conditions set for the merger.

Under the Philippine Competition Act, a P2 million maximum fine will be imposed on every particular violation on its provisions.

“This establishes the fact that PCC has its own jurisdiction and mandate when it comes to competition-related concerns,” said PCC Commissioner Johannes Bernabe.

The PCC warned that if the two firms fail to comply within 45 days, they will have to pay a fine of P16 million each day.

In response, Grab PH said in a statement that they will study the order before giving further comments. — Mon Jocson | UNTV News & Rescue

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Uber officially stops PH operations

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, April 17th, 2018

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Uber posted a notice about when they will discontinue their application.

trong>MANILA, Philippines — Ride-hailing company Uber on Monday officially halted its operations in the country following the issuance of a cease and desist order by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board.

The LTFRB decided to stop the transport network company’s (TNC) operations in consideration to the firm’s drivers, operators and patrons.

“We cannot leave the riders hanging knowing that base sa sinabi ng UBER na yung mga tao nila 40 of them ay naka garden leave na and they could not ensure kung meron pang incentive ang mga TNVS,” LTRFB Board member Atty. Aileen Lizada said.

(We cannot leave the riders hanging knowing that, based on what UBER said, that their staff, 40 of them, are on garden leave already and they could not ensure if there are still incentives in TNVS.)

Nevertheless, Uber management vowed to give incentives to its drivers for their previous rides prior to the cessation.

For its part, the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) insisted that Uber should still continue its operations in the Philippines while it is still in review of the merger of Grab and Uber in Southeast Asia.

According to PCC Commissioner Stela Luz Quimbo, the two TNCs should remain independent until there is assurance that there will be no monopoly of services in the country as a result of the acquisition deal.

PCC’s review on the merger process of Uber and Grab is expected to be completed in October this year.

LTFRB, likewise, is reviewing the accreditation of two new TNCs applying for operation in the Philippines. — UNTV News & Rescue

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Singapore watchdog sets interim measures for Uber-Grab deal

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, April 13th, 2018

FILE PHOTO: A view of Uber and Grab offices in Singapore March 26, 2018. REUTERS/Edgar Su/File Photo

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Singapore’s competition watchdog on Friday outlined a set of interim measures for ride-hailing firms Grab and Uber Technologies to ensure an open market as it continued its investigation into their merger in the city-state.

The Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) said the measures include preventing Grab from taking over operational data from Uber to enhance its market position, adding that Uber would continue to operate in Singapore until May 7 to smoothen the transition.

Uber sold its Southeast Asian business to bigger local rival Grab, marking the U.S. company’s second retreat from an Asian market. Uber gets a 27.5 percent stake in Grab, which was last valued at $6 billion after a financing round in July.

“We trust that the CCCS’ review takes into account a dynamic industry that is constantly evolving, highly competitive, and being disrupted by technology and new services,” said Lim Kell Jay, head of Grab Singapore.

Other measures include ensuring that drivers are not subjected to exclusivity obligations and making sure both the ride-hailing companies maintain their pre-merger pricing and commission levels.

The watchdog also requires Grab to cease its exclusivity arrangements with all taxi fleets in Singapore, subject to provisions.

The Singapore-based company may, however, receive personal data of drivers, riders and merchants who choose to shift to the Grab platform, the CCCS said in a statement.

The interim measures are necessary because the two firms are each other’s closest competitors and have a significant combined market share, the competition watchdog said, adding that barriers to entry were likely to be high.

“In particular, many drivers are constrained by exclusivity arrangements such that they can only drive for one ride-hailing platform. This makes it difficult for a new ride-hailing platform to attract drivers,” it said.

Any new entrant in the ride-hailing business would likely have to make significant investments to attract passengers and drivers, and to compete with the existing player, added the agency, which began its probe last month.

Both companies should also ensure that drivers who rent a vehicle from Uber’s car leasing company are free to drive for any ride-hailing platform.

Unless revoked by the agency, the order will be in place until the investigation is completed or concerns over the deal are resolved.

Singapore’s Land Transport Authority (LTA) said on Friday that CCCS’ measures on the removal of exclusivity obligations and impediments to market contestability will further promote market competition in the point-to-point transport sector.

The LTA was in the process of reviewing the broader regulatory framework for the industry, including studying how to structure the sector and license private hire car booking service operators, it added.

The Philippines’ anti-trust agency had also ordered Uber to delay its shutdown.

Lawyers and analysts had previously told Reuters that regulatory scrutiny could complicate Grab’s takeover of Uber’s business, but there is little the authorities can do to stop U.S. firm from simply exiting the region.

Reporting by Aradhana Aravindan and John Geddie, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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