Groups question Grab-Move It deal

In the past, Grab had been accused of buying out its erstwhile ride-hailing competitor Uber purportedly to monopolize the service.

September 9, 2022

Transportation groups yesterday asked the government authorities to look into the legality of Grab Philippines’ acquisition of motorcycle taxi firm Move It to ensure fair market competition.

The Lawyers for Commuters Safety and Protection, National Public Transport Coalition, ARANGKADA Riders Alliance and Digital Pinoys pressed the Department of Transportation and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board to review the buyout.

“It seems that the deal between Grab and Move It is designed for Grab to have instant accreditation under its acquisition of Move It which was granted accreditation by the TWG,” Lawyers for Commuters Safety and Protection Ariel Inton told reporters.

Inton pointed out that the acquisition of Move It should not allow Grab to easily wade into the ongoing motorcycle taxi study being undertaken by the LTFRB technical working group.

“It should not mean that when a TWG accredited company withdraws or shows that it is no longer interested in operating a motorcycle taxi service, very much like the planned sale of Move It to Grab, the accreditation is automatically transferred,” he said.

In response, Move It asserted that its accreditation as one of the three motorcycle taxi players remained as its own and is not automatically transferred to Grab.

“Move It is a legitimate and law-abiding participant in the MC taxi pilot, and we stand for democratizing MC taxi service to serve more Filipinos. Regardless of its ownership, Move It maintains its own corporate identity and branding,” it said in a statement.

“Move It welcomes the entry of more operators for the public good. This will force all operators to compete and offer the best services and benefits to both drivers and riders,” it added.

Last 5 August, Grab announced its acquisition of Move It to ramp up service to commuters amid growing demand for more efficient transport services.

Grab will help Move It scale up its existing motorcycle taxi fleet of fewer than 1,000. It will add at least 6,000 more partner riders to maximize its allotment of 7,000 riders in the pilot study.

Before the buyout, the two companies had a partnership that allowed users to book Move It’s motorcycle taxi-hailing services to be booked through the Grab app.

The tie-up was suspended by the TWG for supposedly breaching the provisions of the motorcycle taxi pilot study. The three players included in the motorcycle taxi pilot study are Angkas, JoyRide and Move It.

Grab had also been accused in the past of buying out its erstwhile ride-hailing competitor Uber purportedly to monopolize the service.

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