Uber’s acquisition of UK taxi software maker Autocab is cleared by competition watchdog
- Competition and Markets Authority started an investigation in January
- Autocab provides private taxi companies with software to run their business
- Uber has been joined to connect passengers with drivers in areas it doesn’t serve
The acquisition of British technology company Autocab by Uber has been approved by the competition watchdog.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) launched an investigation in January to investigate whether the deal could affect rivals.
Manchester-based Autocab provides private taxi companies around the world with software to run their businesses.
Uber giant Uber said in August it had reached an agreement to acquire the company, saying the move would help connect passengers with local drivers in areas it doesn’t serve.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) launched an investigation in January to investigate whether the deal could affect 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 investigation concluded that there is only limited indirect competition between the two companies, with no indication that Autocab would likely become a significant and more direct competitor to Uber in the future.
“Millions of people in the UK rely on taxis every day and technology has changed the way this industry works,” said Joel Bamford, senior director of mergers at the CMA.
Manchester-based Autocab provides private taxi companies around the world with software to run their businesses
It is therefore important that mergers like this are closely scrutinized to ensure that customers are not negatively impacted.
After thorough investigation, the CMA has not found any competition concerns as a result of this deal.
“This is because the companies are not close competitors, the two companies will continue to compete from rivals, and Autocab’s customer taxi companies can switch to credible alternative providers if they choose.”
Uber recently announced that drivers in the UK will now be treated as workers under labor law, giving them access to a guaranteed minimum wage, holiday pay and pensions.
The move came after the company lost a legal battle in the UK that began in 2016 over driver status.
An Uber spokesperson 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 real profit opportunities.”