After investigating the dossiers, the Vietnam Competition Authority under the Ministry of Industry and Trade issued the decision that the acquisition deal between Grab and Uber does not violate Vietnam’s Competition Law.
|The VCA found the Grab-Uber merger to be legal |
On June 19, the Vietnam Competition and Consumer Protection Authority (VCA) officially published the investigation results on the deal between Grab and Uber after a closed hearing between the parties on June 11.
According to the VCA's conclusions, there is not enough evidence to conclude that the deal resulted in an illegally large economic concentration.
The VCA was established by the government and it operates separately from the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT). According to Article 80 of the Competition Law, the Competition Council can deal with incidents relating to competition independently and the MoIT needs to respect the council's decisions.
Previously, VCA submitted documents showing signs that Grab’s acquisition of Uber violates Vietnam’s Competition Law to the Competition Council.
However, the Competition Council returned the documents for the clarification of several issues to the VCA. The investigation of the deal between ride-hailing firms GrabTaxi and Uber was carried out by the VCA within 60 days from the day of issuing Decision No.08/QD-HDCT. On April 9, the director of the VCA signed Conclusion No.02 about the investigation results.
Grab announced on March 26, 2018 that it had purchased Uber’s operations across Southeast Asia, including Vietnam. However, the Grab-Uber merger was earlier judged as anti-competitive by the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore, which fined the parties to a combined S$13 million ($9.5 million).
Meanwhile, the Philippine Competition Commission had approved the merger in August, with conditions related to pricing and service quality. Two months later, the watchdog imposed a penalty of nearly $300,000 on Grab and Uber for violating the conditions.