The Philippine Competition Commission is giving transport service provider Grab Philippines Inc. another 71 days to resolve the competition issues surrounding the merger with rival Uber.
PCC said it would extend the effectivity period of the voluntary commitments undertaken by Grab Philippines in 2018 for the conditional clearance of its acquisition of Uber in order to give way to talks on a new or amended set of commitments.
The commission is extending Grab’s voluntary commitments for 71 days, or from Aug. 11 to Oct. 20, to negotiate for a new or amended set of voluntary commitments to address the lingering competition concerns arising from the acquisition.
The same framework of measures may be the basis of new or amended commitments but possibly with adjusted metrics to hold Grab in check for its price surges, driver discrimination through booking cancellations and service quality, according to PCC.
It said the term of the new or amended commitments would also be the subject of negotiations.
“The task ahead for PCC and Grab is to ink a renewed set of commitments that is fair and reasonable and that protects consumers from Grab’s currently unchallenged dominance in the market. We also hope to raise the level of competitive intensity in the market and bring about market conditions conducive to new entrants,” said PCC chairman Arsenio Balisacan.
Grab earlier committed to bring back market averages for acceptance and cancellation rates before the transaction and response time to rider complaints; show the fare breakdown per trip, including distance, fare surges, discounts, promo reductions and per-minute waiting charge in every trip receipt; and maintain pricing at a level comparable to the period prior to the acquisition of Uber.
Grab also promised not to introduce any policy that would result in drivers and operators being exclusive to Grab. Grab said it would also allow PCC to monitor and evaluate incentives on the basis of mandatory quarterly reports.
Grab also agreed to enhance driver performance standards; adopt a driver code of conduct; establish a Grab Driver Academy; adopt an emergency SOS feature, help center and passenger no-show feature; adopt a passenger code of conduct; maintain dedicated service lines subject to prevailing labor regulations; adopt a driver welfare program; and implement a driver rewards program.
The current commitments will remain valid during the extension period while negotiations for new or amended commitments are underway.