Grab Merges with Uber: What We Know So Far
Here's what the business talk means for us.
(SPOT.ph) After much speculation about a forthcoming business deal between two ride-sharing business giants, San Francisco-based company Uber announced on March 26, Monday that it has agreed to sell its Southeast Asian unit to Singapore-based firm Grab. This transaction includes 27.5% ownership of Grab stakes by Uber and Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi's participation in Grab's board. This marks the U.S. company's third retreat from the international market—the first being the exit from China in 2016 when it made an equity exchange deal with ride-sharing provider DiDi Chuxing, then from Russia in 2017 when it sold its business to local technology company Yandex. With all these business talk, what exactly does it mean for us?
For starters, the Uber platform will cease to provide service after April 8, 2018. So, if you've been used to switching from Uber to Grab (and vice versa) to check which one's cheaper or has a promo, you may be left with no choice after two weeks.
According to Grab, services will still be dependent on dynamic fares—which means that calculations will still be based on distance, supply and demand, traffic conditions, and estimated travel times. Fares are lower in low demand periods—in theory. The GrabTaxi option will continue to be paid by metered fare plus a booking fee.
In terms of privacy, your Uber account information will not be shared to the Grab application. You may have to download and sign up with the latter if you haven't yet.
Uber drivers who want to continue working as a ride-sharing partner have to register Grab. As more drivers go onboard, this will—hopefully—lessen the riders' waiting time to book.
With the difficulty in commuting in Metro Manila (hello, another MRT glitch!), we just hope that this business merger will not be a big burden for consumers. Remember the nightmare when the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board suspended both companies?