Uber to appeal Singapore’s competition watchdog decision on Grab deal

Singapore’s anti-trust watchdog fined ride-hailing firms Grab and Uber a combined S$13 million ($9.5 million) over their merger deal. (Reuters)
Updated 22 October 2018
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Uber to appeal Singapore’s competition watchdog decision on Grab deal

  • ‘Our objective is not to challenge the remedies of the decision’
  • ‘we aim to clarify that the conclusion that our transaction with Grab led to a substantial lessening of competition’

SINGAPORE: Uber Technologies has decided to appeal a decision by the Singapore competition regulator that its merger with regional rival Grab violated the city-state’s competition laws, the firm said on Monday.
“Our objective is not to challenge the remedies of the decision, which are in fact almost identical to the commitments that Uber and Grab voluntarily offered to the CCCS (Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore),” Uber said in a statement.
“Rather, we aim to clarify that the conclusion that our transaction with Grab led to a substantial lessening of competition, and that Uber intentionally breached the law, is unsupported and incorrect,” it added.
Last month, Singapore slapped ride-hailing firms Grab and Uber with fines and finalized restrictions to open up the market to competitors after concluding that their merger had driven up prices.
Uber sold its Southeast Asian business to bigger regional rival Grab in March in exchange for a 27.5 percent stake in the Singapore-based firm.


In nod to debt concerns, China Belt and Road summit to urge sustainable financing

Updated 25 min 37 sec ago
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In nod to debt concerns, China Belt and Road summit to urge sustainable financing

  • The Belt and Road Initiative envisions rebuilding the old Silk Road to connect China with Asia, Europe and beyond
  • But the initiative has proved controversial in many Western capitals, particularly Washington

SHANGHAI: World leaders meeting in Beijing this week for a summit on China’s Belt and Road initiative will agree to project financing that respects global debt goals and promotes green growth, according to a draft communique seen by Reuters.
The Belt and Road Initiative is a key policy of President Xi Jinping and envisions rebuilding the old Silk Road to connect China with Asia, Europe and beyond with massive infrastructure spending.
But it has proved controversial in many Western capitals, particularly Washington, which views it as merely a means to spread Chinese influence abroad and saddle countries with unsustainable debt through nontransparent projects.
The United States has been particularly critical of Italy’s decision to sign up to the plan last month, the first for a G7 nation.
In an apparent nod to these concerns, the communique reiterates promises reached at the last summit in 2017 for sustainable financing — but adds a line on debt, which was not included the last time.
“We support collaboration among national and international financial institutions to provide diversified and sustainable financial supports for projects,” the draft communique reads.
“We encourage local currency financing, mutual establishment of financial institutions, and a greater role of development finance in line with respective national priorities, laws, regulations and international commitments, and the agreed principles by the UNGA on debt sustainability,” it added, referring to the United Nations General Assembly.
The word “green” appears in the draft seven times. It was not mentioned once in the summit communique from two years ago.
“We underline the importance of promoting green development,” the draft reads. “We encourage the development of green finance including the issuance of green bonds as well as development of green technology.”
The Chinese government’s top diplomat, Wang Yi, said on Friday that the Belt and Road project is not a “geopolitical tool” or a debt crisis for participating nations, but Beijing welcomes constructive suggestions on how to address concerns over the initiative.
A total of 37 foreign leaders are due to attend the April 25-27 summit, though the United States is only sending lower-level representatives, reflecting its unease over the scheme.
The number of foreign leaders at the April 25-27 summit is up from 29 last time, mainly from China’s closest allies like Pakistan and Russia but also Italy, Switzerland and Austria.
China has repeatedly said Belt and Road is for the benefit of the whole world, and that it is committed to upholding globally accepted norms in ensuring projects are transparent and win-win for all parties.
“We emphasize the importance of the rule of law and equal opportunities for all,” the draft reads.