CCS seeks public feedback on ComfortDelGro-Uber deal

Singapore

A PUBLIC consultation is being held to discuss ComfortDelGro Corporation's proposed acquisition of a majority stake in Lion City Holdings from Uber Technologies.

The consultation, which is organised by the Competition Commission of Singapore (CCS), will take place from Dec 21 this year to Jan 8 next year. It will seek public feedback on a strategic alliance in relation to a commercial collaboration between ComfortDelGro and Uber.

According to ComfortDelGro, Lion and Uber, the three entities overlap in the rental and leasing of private cars, and the provision of taxi and chauffeur private-hire car services.

On Thursday, CCS said in a press release that the rental car market is "extremely competitive", in view of factors such as the presence of a large number of existing competitors in the market of varying sizes, combinations and scale of operations, and private-car usage, that prevent drivers from seeking other labour market opportunities.

Under the proposed acquisition, Lion will be under effective joint control of ComfortDelGro and Uber, and will operate as a full-function joint venture on a lasting basis.

Earlier this month, ComfortDelGro announced that it intends to acquire a 51 per cent stake in Lion, an Uber-owned rental car business. Uber will retain the remaining 49 per cent.

For the proposed collaboration, Uber and ComfortDelGro's smartphone mobile applications will integrate to form "uberFLASH".

CCS said that although the proposed collaboration will cover booking services for meter-fared taxi services, it will generally not cover ComfortDelGro's core street hail business. It will, among other things, involve combining fleet resources of both ComfortDelGro and Uber.