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CCCS Commences In-Depth Review of the Proposed Acquisition by Grab Rentals Pte. Ltd. of Trans-cab Holdings Ltd.

2024, Singapore, Abuse of Dominance

31 January 2024

(View Media Release in PDF)

1. The Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (“CCCS”) has commenced an in-depth review (known in industry parlance as “Phase 2”) of the proposed acquisition by Grab Holdings Limited (“Grab”) through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Grab Rentals Pte. Ltd. (“GrabRentals”) of 100 per cent of the shares of Trans-cab Holdings Ltd. (“Trans-cab”) (collectively, the “Parties”) (the “Proposed Acquisition”), following further filing of the relevant documents by the Parties to CCCS on 25 January 2024.

Competition concerns raised at the end of Phase 1 review

2. On 7 August 2023, CCCS embarked on its Phase 1 review following the acceptance of an application[1] from the Parties for a decision on whether the Proposed Acquisition, if carried into effect, would infringe section 54 of the Competition Act 2004 (the “Act”). Section 54 of the Act prohibits mergers that have resulted, or may be expected to result, in a substantial lessening of competition within any market in Singapore.

3. On 16 October 2023, CCCS raised competition concerns with the Parties on the Proposed Acquisition after completing its preliminary Phase 1 review.[2] Based on the information furnished by the Parties and third-party feedback from industry players and members of the public, CCCS was unable to conclude at the end of the Phase 1 review that the Proposed Acquisition would not raise any competition concerns.

Proposed commitments at end of Phase 1 review not accepted

4. On 31 October 2023, Grab proposed certain commitments to address the competition concerns identified by CCCS at the end of the Phase 1 review (the “Commitments Proposal”). CCCS reviewed the Commitments Proposal and found that, without the benefit of an in-depth review, it was unable to conclude that the Commitments Proposal adequately addressed the competition concerns CCCS identified. For example, it did not adequately address the concern that the Proposed Acquisition may give Grab the ability and incentive to leverage its ownership of the Trans-cab fleet to induce Trans-cab drivers to use Grab’s ride-hail platform, whilst discouraging them from using rival ride-hail platforms.

5. In addition, CCCS found that the proposed duration of two years for the commitments was insufficient to address the concerns which would arise from a permanent change in market structure. CCCS also found Grab’s monitoring mechanism, which was to be self-policing in nature, to be insufficient. Considering the above, CCCS informed Grab on 24 November 2023 that it was unable to accept the Commitments Proposal.

Initiation of in-depth Phase 2 review

6. Following further filing of the relevant documents by Grab on 25 January 2024, CCCS has commenced an in-depth Phase 2 review of the effect of the Proposed Acquisition. During this phase, Grab may propose revised commitments to address any competition concerns identified. Upon completion of the review, CCCS will decide whether to issue a favourable or unfavourable decision on the Proposed Acquisition. For more information on the merger review process in Singapore, please refer to Annex 1.


[1] For more information on the Proposed Acquisition, please refer to CCCS’s media release dated 14 August 2023.