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Uber to end service in the Philippines on Monday

Grab moves closer to Southeast Asian integration

A passenger rides an Uber bike next to Grab drivers in Jakarta. (Photo by Shinya Sawai)

MANILA -- Ride-hailing operator Uber Technologies informed customers Sunday night that its app will shut down in the Philippines on Monday, as the U.S.-based company moves closer to completing its regional integration with Grab, the rival that acquired its Southeast Asian businesses last month.

Riders "have the option to download the Grab app and register in order to book rides" starting Monday, Uber said in an email before directing them to Grab's website for the "transition."

It was not immediately clear whether the move was authorized by the Philippine Competition Commission, which on April 7 ordered the two companies to halt the merger and continue their operations separately pending a review. The commission opened a review April 3 and has yet to make an announcement on its findings.

Uber's exit from the Philippines leaves Singapore as the lone Southeast Asian market where its services can be accessed. The Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore said Friday that Uber should continue to operate until May 7.

Singapore's commission also issued interim measures to ensure the market remains open. It barred Grab from requiring drivers to accept exclusivity contracts as well as collecting the personal data of Uber drivers and riders unless they opted to move to Grab. Pricing should remain at levels from before the merger, the commission said.

Grab and Uber announced their merger March 26 and integrated in other markets such as Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand on April 8. But antitrust authorities in Singapore and the Philippines initiated reviews, saying the deal may threaten competition. In the Philippines, Grab appears poised to corner over 80% of the ride-hailing market after many drivers have opted to migrate.

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