Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade announced Wednesday that it had formed a committee to conduct an in-depth investigation into Grab’s takeover of Uber Technologies’ Southeast Asia business after an initial probe into the matter found that the deal may have violated Vietnamese anti-monopoly laws.
Apart from Grab and Uber, six other companies are under investigation for their proximity to the case.
A hearing chaired by Deputy Minister of Justice Phan Chi Hieu will be held once the investigation is complete.
Grab and Uber both began operations in Vietnam in 2014 and spent the next four years in a constant two-horse race to control the country’s ride-share market.
On March 26, 2018, Uber sold its Southeast Asia ride-share and food delivery businesses to regional rival Grab with the caveat that Uber would take a 27.5 percent stake in Singapore-based Grab, putting an end to a bruising battle of ride-hailing app supremacy.
A December 2018 investigation conducted by the Vietnam Competition Authority revealed that Grab may have violated Vietnam’s competition law in its Uber acquisition,
VCA alleges that Grab is guilty of two violations – acquiring another company that results in a combined market share of over 50 percent, and failing to inform relevant authorities about the deal, the official said.
Grab claims its post-deal combined market share is under 30 percent and thus had no obligation to report the deal to Vietnamese authorities.