Antitrust regulators in Singapore fined both Uber and Singapore ride-hailing app Grab $9.5 million over a merger of the two companies that resulted in 10 to 15 percent fare increases.
“The merger represented Uber’s partial retreat from the region, as it handed over the market to its biggest local rival. Under the deal, Uber got a 27.5% stake in the combined operation. But the Singaporean competition watchdog now says the deal broke antitrust laws,” reported Fortune. “Following a proposed decision in July, the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) on Monday formally hit the companies with fines totalling $9.5 million.”
“The regulator said that, after the merger, Grab had 80% of the ride-hailing market in Singapore, and smaller competitors were struggling to do business—particularly as Grab hit taxi companies, car-rental companies and some drivers with exclusivity agreements. It also said Grab’s effective fares went up by 10-15% after the Uber merger,” Fortune explained, adding that the sanctions “also banned Grab’s exclusivity agreements and said the company must stick to its pre-merger pricing algorithm and driver commission rates.”
Uber may reportedly appeal the ruling.
Last year, Uber was fined $8.9 million in Colorado for hiring drivers with a criminal history, while in August, Uber was hit with a $650 million class-action lawsuit from London’s “black cab” drivers.