Following Grab's announcement yesterday that it has acquired its competition, ride-hailing app Uber's operations in Southeast Asia, the latter confirmed that it will no longer be available in the Philippines after April 8, Sunday.
THE sale of Uber's Southeast Asia business to Grab - its regional rival - marks the end of a long-drawn and costly battle for the San Francisco-based company. As part of the deal, Uber will gain a 27.5 percent stake in Grab and a seat on its board of directors.
A part-time Grab driver, Ameer Mustafa, said the acquisition may be beneficial for the ride-hailing company to expand its business regionally but it would be a huge loss for both drivers and passengers of Grab and Uber.
With regulators still unable to conclude if the Uber-ComfortDelGro undermines competition after two months of deliberations, only one thing is for certain: The Grab-Under merger deal is set for a long-drawn period of review, says See. Grab, available on the App Store for iOS and Google Play for Android, now offers more than 10 transportation services including GrabTaxi (a taxi-hailing service), GrabHitch (a carpooling service), GrabShare (a ride-sharing service similar to UberPool and LyftLine), GrabBike (a motorbike hailing service), and GrabFood (Grab's food delivery service).
Since becoming Uber's CEO in September, Dara Khosrowshahi has been manoeuvring to make the company profitable before a planned initial public offering expected next year.
"Around 500 colleagues across the region will transition to Grab, and over the coming weeks we will help our customers move to Grab's apps", Khosrowshahi said in the email.
"SoftBank has proposed that Uber retrench back to Europe and North America where it has large market shares and reasonable prospects of emerging as an eventual victor".
As a result of the merger, Uber employees that are sacked would eventually be re-hired by Grab, said Nancy.
Ms Nancy said she met Grab on Monday following news of the acquisition. Uber and Grab, together with two other SoftBank-backed ride-hailing firms - India's Ola and China's Didi Chuxing - provide about 45 million rides a day, according to SoftBank presentation material in February.
Ride-hailing service provider, Grab, has given an assurance that the Grab and Uber merger exercise will not affect the fares, according to Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Nancy Shukri.
For Uber, the deal could be a windfall if its Asean operation is valued at US$1.65 billion.