Publications all across Asia have been reporting on the potential merger between ride-hailing apps Gojek and Grab. Now Gojek has released a statement denying the merger calling the media reports inaccurate.
“There are no plans for any sort of merger, and recent media reports regarding discussions of this nature are not accurate,” Gojek’s spokesperson told Marketing. Meanwhile, rival Grab has declined to comment. The report was first made by The Information report, which said the two had a “serious conversations” about a potential tie up.
Both Gojek and Grab are no strangers to acquisitions and mergers. Most recently Gojek was said to have acquired a minority stake Indonesian taxi operator Blue Bird for US$30 million. Gojek is now expected have a 4.3% stake in Blue Bird, which comes months after the former expressed interest in the latter.
Meanwhile, approximately two years ago, Grab in a swift move acquired Uber’s Southeast Asia operations, integrating Uber’s ride-sharing and food delivery business in the region into its existing multi-modal transportation and fintech platform. The acquisition saw Grab taking over Uber’s operations and assets in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia and Vietnam. The move made headlines across Southeast Asian markets with consumer watchdog’s stepping in with provisional findings that the buyout had “lessened competition”.
In Malaysia, Grab recently said it is going to court over the proposed decision by Malaysia Competition Commission (MyCC) to fine the company RM86.77 million for allegedly abusing its dominant position by imposing restrictive clauses on drivers. Grab’s spokesperson told Marketing in a statement that among the issues Grab seeks to raise is whether MyCC is entitled, when issuing the proposed decision, to impose a daily penalty of RM15,000 commencing with immediate effect from 23 September, the date of the proposed decision.
Grab also previously defended its acquisition of Uber, explaining that it proceeded with the matter in the good faith belief that the acquisition will create more efficiencies and benefits for the public in the ride-hailing sector. It added that Grab plays a complementary role in the entire public transportation ecosystem in Malaysia, most often serving the first-mile-last-mile needs of commuters to and from public transit.