MANILA – Motorcycle taxi company Move It on Wednesday told lawmakers that its deal with Grab Philippines is above board and compliant with the rules set by a technical working group (TWG) under the Department of Transportation (DOTr).

“We are happy to disclose that the acquisition complied with the law, and all approvals required for the acquisition have been obtained. It did not violate any requirement of the MC (motorcycle) Taxi TWG,” Move It representative, lawyer Ann Albana, said during the public hearing conducted by the House of Representatives Committee on Metro Manila Development.

The House panel conducted the hearing over calls by some quarters for the government to review the deal between Grab and Move It.
“We wish to assure the public that the operations of Move It will still be under the supervision of the MC Taxi TWG, and it will continue to abide by MC Taxi Guidelines, especially on the safety and welfare of the consumers,” Albana said.

Grab Philippines announced the acquisition of the motorcycle taxi firm in August, saying that the deal – which was less than PHP1 billion – was made amid the growing demand for motorcycle taxis.

Some quarters claim that the Grab-Move It deal was designed for Grab to have instant accreditation by virtue of its acquisition of Move It, which is one of the firms taking part in the pilot implementation of motorcycle taxis that was granted accreditation by the TWG.

Move It, however, said the arguments against it and Grab are “clearly misplaced and are merely based on speculations and conjectures.”

It emphasized that even with the acquisition, Move It continues to hold and possess the accreditation given by the TWG and it is not in any manner transferred to Grab.

Even with the acquisition, Grab and Move It will remain two distinct and separate entities, it added.

“Thus, it is erroneous and misleading to claim that the accreditation has been transferred to Grab by virtue of the acquisition,” Move It pointed out.
Move It explained that its Certificate of Compliance and Provisional Authority to Operate were not transferred to a different entity even after the acquisition.

“The Certificate of Compliance and the Provisional Authority to Operate also do not require prior approval by any government agency, including the MC Taxi TWG, in case of change in ownership structure of Move It,” it said.

Move It also emphasized that the acquisition was not anti-competitive since Grab is not offering motorcycle ride-hailing services.

“At present, there are other market players who appear to have a stronger presence in the motorcycle ride-hailing market,” Move It said, referring to its rival Angkas. “In fact, the acquisition is pro-competitive and pro-consumer. Strengthening Move It will improve and develop competition and satisfy the increasing unserved demand for motorcycle taxis.”

Because of the acquisition, Move It said it would benefit from Grab’s innovation and economies of scale, and the public would have access to superior service at competitive pricing. (PNA)