Regulators Suspend Grab-Uber Merger in Philippines

Antitrust regulators in the Philippines have ordered ride-hailing services Grab and Uber Technologies Inc. to suspend their plan to merge, pending a regulatory review.

Singapore-based Grab had planned to acquire Uber’s business in Southeast Asia yesterday. But the country’s competition commission told the companies to take no action until the agency completes a review. The process could take as long as 195 days, according to The Nikkei.

Grab and Uber announced the sale as a completed deal two weeks ago. The plan is to integrate Uber’s ridesharing and food delivery businesses in the region with Grab’s competitive activities. Uber will again a 27.5% stake in Grab, and Uber CEO Dar Khosrowshahi will join the company’s board.

In describing the deal at the time, Khosrowshahi said the merger will help Uber “double down on our plans for growth.” Grab tells The Nikkei it intends to proceed with the merger in other markets outside the Philippines.

The acquisition would net Grab control of about 80% of the Philippine ride-hailing market, according to The Nikkei.