SG competition watchdog looking into potential Grab-Gojek merger

The Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) is looking into the potential merger of Grab and Gojek and have written to the parties for more information, its spokesperson told MARKETING-INTERACTIVE. The spokesperson added that under Singapore's competition law, section 54 of the Competition Act (Cap. 50B) prohibits mergers that have resulted, or may be expected to result, in a substantial lessening of competition.

This comes after Grab CEO Anthony Tan said in a recent internal note that it is "well placed to make acquisitions", Reuters reported. Tan explained that Grab has good business momentum and it is "the ones in a position to acquire". Despite the challenging year, Tan said the company is still profitable before overheads and it is also striving to become the top food delivery player in Indonesia, Gojek's home base. Meanwhile, Bloomberg also said that both companies have "made substantial progress" to merge.

CCCS previously issued an infringement decision two years ago following Grab's acquisition of Uber's Southeast Asia operations, after it found that the transaction infringed Section 54 of the Competition Act. The commission, however, has since lifted the restrictions it previously imposed on Grab.

Meanwhile on the digital banking front, Grab and Singtel’s consortium was selected by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to set up a digital full bank in Singapore. The consortium has appointed Grab's former senior MD Charles Wong as its CEO. The consortium said it will also set up a dedicated team and fill around 200 roles by end 2021. These roles will be in the areas of product, data, technology, risk, finance and compliance. At the same time, the consortium will create more opportunities for Singaporeans to take on technology and fintech-related roles, and will train and equip them with the requisite skill sets in cyber and information security, data science and analytics as well as tech engineering.

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