Grab & Gojek could merge soon

It will be the 'biggest internet merger', but Grab says, 'No comment'.

Joshua Lee | December 02, 2020, 10:51 PM

Bloomberg reported on Dec. 2 that ride-hailing platforms Grab and Gojek have made "substantial progress" in working out a merger deal, which is looking to be the "biggest internet merger in Southeast Asia".

The information was provided by people with knowledge of the merger discussion.

It is apparently being discussed by senior leaders from Gojek and Grab, as well as SoftBank Group Corp., an investor in Grab.

While the talks might not result in anything concrete, it is said that if and when the merger proceeds, Grab co-founder Anthony Tan will become the new company's chief executive officer.

The merged entity will also run under the Gojek brand in Indonesia.

Bloomberg's sources said Grab and Gojek are ultimately hoping to merge with the aim of becoming a publicly-listed company.

When Mothership contacted Grab for comment on the matter, a spokesperson said:

"We don't comment on market speculations, so no comment on this."

Anti-competition concerns

This merger will draw scrutiny from regulators  who will have concerns about anti-competition, considering that both parties hold large market shares in many of the countries they operate in.

When Grab and Uber merged in 2018, they were fined a combined S$13 million by the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS).

The CCCS said that the Uber-Grab merger reduced competition and increased prices for consumers.

More recently in July this year, Indonesia's anti-monopoly watchdog, the Business Competition Supervisory Commission (KPPU), fined Grab Indonesia and its car rental partner, PT Teknologi Pengangkutan Indonesia (TPI), a combined IDR 49 billion (S$4.7 million) for carrying out discriminatory practices against drivers.

The KPPU said that Grab Indonesia gave preferential treatment -- including the allotment of priority orders -- to drivers using cars from TPI.

Grab Indonesia denied it.

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