Sunday, 17 Feb 2019
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ECONOMY

Vietnam authority requests further investigation into Grab’s Uber acquisition

Updated at Wednesday, 13 Feb 2019, 12:01
The Hanoitimes - After a thorough review of related documents, the Vietnam Competition Council said it has found new details regarding the controversial acquisition in subject, and required further investigation to clarify possible violation of competition laws committed in the case.
The Vietnam Competition Council (VCC), which is in charge of handling the case of ride-hailing firm Grab’s acquisition of Uber’s operation in the country, has returned the case dossier to the Vietnam Competition Authority (VCA) under the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) for further investigation, stated VCC in a statement. 
 
Illustrative photo.
Illustrative photo.
After a thorough review of related documents, the VCC announced it has found new details regarding the controversial acquisition in subject, and required further investigation to clarify possible violation of competition laws committed in the case. 

The VCA, thus, is expected to carry out the investigation within the next 60 days. 

Last December, the VCA said in a statement that Grab has infringed the competition law by acquiring Uber’s operation in Southeast Asia, including Vietnam’s market. 

In the statement, the VCA listed two major violations of the deal, namely the failure to notify an economic concentration and participating in a prohibited case of economic concentration. 

The case would be referred to the VCC for further handling in accordance with the Law on Competition. 

Grab on March 26, 2018 confirmed its acquisition of Uber's Southeast Asia operation for an undisclosed sum, raising concern over its alleged monopoly status in the region's ride-hailing market. 

On March 27, the VCA requested Grab to report on the deal, with a view to determining whether the deal is in conformity with the Law on Competition. 

According to the law, if an economic concentration by an enterprise, in this case, an acquisition of another enterprise in the market, results in a combined share in the relevant market of 30 - 50%, the legal representative of such an enterprise must notify the administrative body for competition before carrying out the economic concentration. 

Failure to do so may result in imposing a fine of up to 10% of total turnover of the infringing organization or individual  in the financial year preceding the year in which the prohibited practice took place. 

If the combined market share in the relevant market is more than 50%, the deal may even be prohibited. 

On May 16, VCA’s preliminary investigation result showed that the combined market share from economic concentration between Grab and Uber in Vietnam exceeded 50%. 

On September 24, Singapore's competition watchdog Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) fined Grab and Uber a combined US$13 million for their merger in March, in which Grab was fined about US$6.4 million and Uber US$6.58 million.
Ngoc Mai
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