According to TEM, Grab Holdings and Gojek have made solid progress in working out a deal to combine their businesses in what would be the “biggest internet merger in Southeast Asia”.
The information was provided by people with knowledge of the merger discussion. They noted that the meeting includes senior leaders from Gojek and Grab, as well as SoftBank Group Corp, an investor in Grab.
Although the region’s two most valuable startups have narrowed their differences of opinion, some parts of the agreement still need to be negotiated. While the talks might not result in anything concrete, it is said that if and when the merger proceeds, Grab co-founder Anthony Tan will become the new company’s chief executive officer.
The merged entity will also run under the Gojek brand in Indonesia. It is said that Grab and Gojek are ultimately hoping to merge with the aim of becoming a publicly-listed company.
So far, representatives of Grab, Gojek and SoftBank declined to comment.
Since the talks are still fluid, the deal would need regulatory approval and governments may have antitrust concerns about the unification of the region’s two leading ride-hailing companies.
In case you didn’t know, Grab and Gojek have been locked in a fierce, expensive battle for dominance in that business along with food delivery and cashless mobile payments for the past several years. The merge would be like The Avengers and Thanos working together – will it fail or succeed, who knows?