What do the insiders say?
The Competition Action Board, which involved the acquisition of Uber by Grab in Vietnam, has just taken a final decision.
Consequently, the Council has stated that the agreement does not constitute an economic concentration, Grab does not infringe competition law.
This information is surprising to many people because before Vietnam, some countries have penalized Grab and Uber for similar behavior in the above agreement.
Specifically, at the end of September 2018, the Singapore Competition and Consumer Committee penalized Grab and Uber for a total of $ 9.1 million, of which Uber was fined $ 4.6 million, Grab was more than 4.5 million dollars.
Penalties are defined based on the factors of revenue, nature, time and extent of company violation, taking into account both aggravation and mitigation.
Subsequently, the Philippine Competition Authority on October 17, 2018 also announced a fine of 16 million pesos, equivalent to almost $ 300,000, for two requests calling the Grab and Uber cars merger lawsuits in the country. This is happening while authorities are also reviewing the agreement.
In the opinion of the Vietnamese Competition Authority, the acquisition of Uber by Grab is considered to be in Southeast Asia, including Vietnam through joint purchase agreements and transfer agreements. receive obligations.
The nature and content of the transfer agreement is the transfer of assets and liabilities. Therefore, the Uber Grab acquisition is not a stock purchase, so it does not involve voting rights in the managed business management agency, Uber Vietnam.
"But with the purchase of all assets of Uber Vietnam, Grab controls and dominates Uber's entire business," the agency said.
However, Uber Vietnam Co., Ltd. reaffirmed the claim that the company does not have and never has business in the field of call or provision of transportation services in Vietnam.
Thus, Uber Vietnam only provides support services (marketing, research, market research …) to Uber BV – a foreign entity that operates the Uber application and these are common services. In addition to Uber Vietnam, many other companies may Uber BV provide these services. Therefore, the Department of Defense for Competition and Consumer Protection targets the wrong people in conducting the investigation.
Uber B.V. argued that the investigating agency conducted an investigation of economic concentration behavior, concluded the investigation of the Uber corporate punitive petition (including Uber Vietnam and Uber BV), but in the process of conducting investigation activities, the investigator did not work with Uber BV
Therefore, the company can not provide relevant evidence to protect its legal rights and interests. At the hearing, representatives of Uber B.V. also mentioned in this case.
"Losing", the Department of Defense and Consumer Defense has to pay 100 million VND
According to the Competition Board, based on the business registration certificate, GrabTaxi Co., Ltd. and Uber Vietnam Co., Ltd. are foreign investment companies, operating mainly in the field of information technology, software development and pilot connection of transport services based on information technology.
According to the research report, GrabTaxi since services in the Vietnam market is providing Grab connection services in the Grab software platform. The service provided by Uber in Vietnam is to provide an intermediate transportation service in Uber software.
Therefore, the research team focused on investigating the market for intermediary services connecting passengers between drivers and drivers of cars with fewer than 9 seats.
However, according to the Competition Association, intermediary services connecting passengers via software and through control panels have many similar and interchangeable features.
In other words, the Grab / Uber transport software application and other application software can be replaced by the way to connect the passengers through the taxi companies' telephone switchboard.
In addition, the survey results show that more than 50% of consumers will not continue to use the Grab and Uber services when prices of both parties increase by 10% in 6 consecutive months. . Instead, they will call traditional taxis or similar applications.
Through the investigation, the Competition Council also stated that there are 55 companies in the intermediary market linking passenger transport with less than 9 seats on the software platform, distribution panels in Hanoi and 23 of these companies in Ho Chi Minh City. .
In this case, the Competition Board concluded that the parties investigated, Grabtaxi and Uber Vietnam, signed a contract to sell, transfer and receive bonds.
However, Grabtaxi does not manage Uber Vietnam, it does not have any voting rights in the management agencies of Uber Vietnam.
The research team also admitted that the acquisition was not a stock purchase. The competition handling case has stated that the relationship between the purchase, transfer and receipt of obligations between GrabTaxi and Uber Vietnam is not sufficient to constitute economic concentration behavior.
Therefore, the Council dealing with the competition case does not accept the investigating agency's investigation into the application of sanctions and remedial measures to limit competition for GrabTaxi and Uber Vietnam.
Regarding the fee to deal with competition cases, the Competition Council requires the Department of Defense of Competition and Consumer Protection to pay a handling fee of VND 100 million to send to the City Depot. Hanoi.
Earlier, as Dan Tri reported, on March 26, Grab announced information on the acquisition of Uber's business in Southeast Asia, including Vietnam.
Immediately after the agreement, the Competition Management Department issued a preliminary investigation into the trade to investigate the behavior of economic concentration. The preliminary investigation by the Department of Competition determined the economic concentration between Grab and Uber in the Vietnamese market, with a combined market share of more than 50%.
In this sense, the Department of Defense of Competition and Consumer Protection stated that this case shows signs of violation of the economic concentration regulations stipulated in Section 3, Chapter II of the 2004 Competition Law.