Poe slams Grab for ‘predatory pricing’
MANILA, Philippines — Uber’s end of operations in the country does not give its rival Grab the right to charge the riding public higher fares, Sen. Grace Poe said.
“There should be no room for predatory pricing by a firm allowed to engage in public service,” the chair of Senate public services committee said in a statement Monday.
She stressed that being the surviving entity after acquiring Uber’s operations in Southeast Asia “does not authorize Grab to grab more profits.”
Poe added that regulatory agencies should protect commuters while ensuring that Grab drivers have fair incomes.
“I am hopeful that through dialogue and open channels of communication, all the stakeholders can strike a balance that will not hurt the pocket of Grab riders but will not leave Grab drivers empty-handed either,” she said.
Uber officially exited the country Monday.
Grab has been accused of overcharging passengers.
Rep. Jericho Nograles (Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta party-list) alleged that the transport network service provider is illegally charging P2 per minute of travel aside from legal fees approved by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board.
Last week, LTFRB asked Grab to lower its surge pricing to 1.5x from 2x.
During the hearing, Grab reportedly defended the high fare saying it was caused by a low supply of drivers and high demand. It said that although its pool of drivers increased due to the Uber acquisition, booking requests also went up.
Aside from the higher fares, users have been reporting it has become more difficult to book rides.
The Philippine Competition Commission is still studying the acquisition, which saw Grab take over Uber’s operations in Southeast Asia.