SINGAPORE (Apr 2): The 500 Uber employees who turned up for work at the company’s Singapore offices on March 26 received a rude shock: They had till 4pm to pack up and leave. The ride-hailing giant’s sale of its Southeast Asia operations to its rival Grab was widely anticipated but has still managed to create a great deal of uncertainty. Drivers are worried about their livelihoods, employees are worried about their jobs, commuters are worried about prices, and investors are worried about the impact on ComfortDelGro Corp’s stock.

Update: Singapore watchdog says Uber-Grab deal may have infringed competition

These parties have valid reasons for concern. The Uber and Grab rivalry, fuelled not just by disruptive technology but also by very patient venture capital and private-equity money, had been a boon for many. To lure drivers from each other and existing taxi companies, Uber and Grab dangled attractive incentives in both cash and kind. Users benefited from discounts that sometimes made it cheaper to hire a car than to take the train. And anecdotal evidence suggests both companies were generous employers.

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