Vinasun has voiced its opposition to the conclusion of the Vietnam Competition Council (VCC) that the merger between ride-hailing firms Grab and Uber in the country showed no signs of economic concentration.
VCC had earlier concluded that the merger did not violate the Competition Law, which is contrary to both Singapore’s and the Philippines’ rulings for the same case.
Singapore’s competition watchdog in September last year fined Grab and Uber a combined 13 million Singapore dollars (US$9.6 million) for their merger. Meanwhile, they faced a fine of 16 million pesos (US$0.3 million) in the Philippines.
These two countries’ competition watchdogs also took steps to supervise and control Grab’s operations, to prevent it from ruling the market.
Vinasun Deputy General Director Truong Dinh Quy said that VCC’s conclusion had bucked the trend. The conclusion that the merger did not affect the Vietnamese under-nine-seat automobile passenger market as Uber Vietnam has not registered to provide ride-hailing services or directly manage the Uber app is unreasonable, he said.
According to Vinasun, the Grab-Uber deal has affected the competition in the local market as Grab is now serving a quarter of Vietnam’s population. Grab’s holding of data of a quarter of the population and the right to transfer that data to a third party poses a high risk to the local economy, national defense and social order.
In addition, in the first-instance hearing of Vinasun’s lawsuit against Grab, demanding noncontractual compensation, on December 28 last year, the HCMC People’s Court concluded that Grab had operated as a taxi company but had violated regulations on providing taxi services.
The Vietnam Competition and Consumer Authority had earlier launched an investigation into the merger of Grab and Uber and found that the deal had violated the economic concentration rules of the Competition Law.
The combined market share of Grab and Uber in Vietnam at the time was over 50%, instead of less than 30% as claimed by Grab. Meanwhile, the law prohibits economic concentration where the combined market share of the participating enterprises in the relevant market is more than 50%.
Besides this, the Grab-Uber merger deal violated the rule on prohibited mergers, and authorities were not informed of the merger as required by law.
Therefore, Vinasun proposed the VCC chairman revoke the ruling on the Grab-Uber merger and open another public hearing with the participation of the relevant parties.
According to a report on SGT