As expected, Uber and Grab have released a joint statement confirming reports of a possible merger in Southeast Asia. This makes it official: Singapore-based Grab is taking over Uber’s operations in the region, comprising of ride-hailing service and Uber Eats (food delivery business in Singapore and Malaysia).
This transaction ends the long-standing and costly battle between the two ride-hailing brands in Southeast Asia, including the Philippines. As earlier reported, Uber will take a 27.5% interest in Grab and its CEO Dara Khosrowshani will get a seat in the company’s board in exchange for the pulling out of Uber’s operations in the region.
This merger would soon be felt across the markets in the region where Uber operates. It is because of an advisory telling drivers and passengers that Uber’s app in the Philippines and the rest of countries in Southeast Asia will be down after April 8, 2018—just two weeks from today. The two-week period will be spent migrating Uber drivers to the platform of Grab.
The Uber-Grab merger in Southeast Asia is the third time for Uber to retreat from a market where it operates. In 2016, its operations in China merged with a Chinese rival. That was also its fate in Russia, where it recently combined with local tech firm Yandex.
Uber said it would instead focus in markets where its business is performing stronger. It remains to be seen how this merger can disrupt the transport sector in the Philippines, where both Uber and Grab have a strong following.