The merger of transport network companies (TNCs) Grab and Uber in Southeast Asia could lead to a monopoly that could be “extremely detrimental” to commuters.

And this worried Senator JV Ejercito, who also noted on Thursday that such business consolidation will practically eliminate any form of competition since it would enable Grab to capture 80 percent of the market.

Consequently, Ejercito said, this Grab-Uber deal would likely render riders pay higher fares and would diminish incentives to improve services.

“I am worried that the deal will be extremely detrimental to commuters because the merger will create a monopoly in the ride-sharing sector which has become very popular as a means to address transportation shortage and problems in the Philippines,” Ejercito pointed out in a statement.

Ejercito then welcomed the decision of the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) to investigate Grab’s acquisition of its rival, Uber.

He cited similar moves by regulatory agencies in Malaysia and Singapore, and considered it a positive action by PCC to ensure commuter protection.

“We need to protect our commuters by offering improvements—in terms of quantity and quality—in transportation instead of limiting their choices. I hope the PCC will prioritize public welfare over corporate interests,” Ejercito said.

The Singapore-based Grab earlier announced its acquisition of Uber’s Southeast Asia operations.

Uber confirmed this and said that its service would only be accessible until April 8.

All Uber booking requests beyond April 8 could by then be made from the Grab application, it added.