Uber's takeover of British taxi software maker Autocab is cleared
Uber’s takeover of British taxi software maker Autocab is cleared by competition watchdog
- Competition and Markets Authority launched investigation in January
- Autocab provides private hire taxi operators with software to run their business
- Uber got company to connect passengers with drivers in areas it doesn’t serve
Uber’s takeover of British tech firm Autocab has been cleared by the competition watchdog.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) launched an investigation in January to examine whether the deal could impact rivals.
Manchester-based Autocab provides private hire taxi operators across the world with software to run their business.
Ride-hailing giant Uber said in August that it had reached an agreement to acquire the company, saying the move would help it connect passengers with local drivers in areas it does not serve.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) launched an investigation in January to examine whether the deal could impact rivals
These locations include Oxford, which has an average of 67,000 app opens per month, Doncaster with 24,000, Swansea with 18,000 and Aberdeen with 17,000.
As part of the deal, Uber pledged to keep Autocab independent, with its own staff and management.
The probe concluded that there is only limited indirect competition between the two companies, with no evidence suggesting that Autocab was likely to become a significant and more direct competitor to Uber in the future.
‘Millions of people across the UK rely on taxis every day and technology has transformed the way this industry works,’ said Joel Bamford, senior director of mergers at the CMA.
Manchester-based Autocab provides private hire taxi operators across the world with software to run their business
‘It is therefore important that mergers like these are properly scrutinised to ensure that customers aren’t negatively affected.
‘After a thorough investigation, the CMA has found no competition concerns as a result of this deal.
‘This is because the companies are not close competitors, the two businesses will continue to face competition from rivals and Autocab’s customer taxi companies can switch to credible alternative providers if they wish.’
Uber recently announced that drivers in the UK will now be treated as workers under employment law, providing them with access to a guaranteed minimum wage, holiday pay and pensions.
The move came after the firm lost a legal battle in the UK, which begun in 2016, over drivers’ status.
A spokesperson for Uber said: ‘We are delighted that the CMA has approved our acquisition of Autocab.
‘We look forward to working with the Autocab team to help local operators grow and provide drivers with genuine earnings opportunities.’
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