Wednesday 22 January 2020

Uber gets UAE ministry nod for Careem acquisition

ABU DHABI, June 24, 2019

UAE Minister of Economy Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri has issued a ministerial decision approving the status of Economic Concentration in the UAE market for the upcoming acquisition of Careem - one of the leading start-ups established in the UAE - by global company Uber.

Under the Competition Law No. 04 of 2012 and the Executive Regulation No. 37 of 2014, companies operating in the UAE are required to submit a request to the Ministry of Economy regarding the status of Economic Concentration prior to the completion of a merger or acquisition, said a statement from the ministry.

This ensures that the acquisition or merger will not lead to the dominance or control of the corresponding markets in the UAE at rates exceeding the percentages stipulated by the Law.

In line with this, Uber had applied for Economic Concentration to the ministry. The market for Uber and Careem was studied in relation to private taxi services that cater to regular demand and demand via telephone and smart applications, it stated.

In view of the passenger transport sector data in the country, technical details and financial and market activities, and after informing the Competition Regulation Committee, it was found that the acquisition would not constitute a case of breach of competition in the light of previous data, resulting in the approval of the application by the Minister of Economy.

Al Mansouri said that the public transport sectors across the world are witnessing fierce competition especially in light of the progressive development of modern technologies and advanced services in mass transit and passenger transport services, and the emergence of many alternative means of non-traditional transport, including the participation of cars and self-driving techniques and many alternatives to consumers.

The integration of expertise, competencies and modern technologies ultimately serve the interests of consumers and serve the progress of the transport sector in general, stated the minister.

Al Mansouri pointed out that the UAE was home to many successful start-ups that have successfully competed regionally and globally.

"The UAE is now a regional destination that attracts and embraces start-ups based on young and innovative ideas by supporting and promoting entrepreneurship. It also provides state-of-the-art infrastructure, legislative and technological systems that serve the ambitious orientations and vision of the country in building a diversified and sustainable economy," he noted.

The Competition Regulation Committee, during its first annual meeting for the year held at the headquarters of the Ministry in Dubai under the chairmanship of Mohammed Bin Abdul Aziz Al Shehhi, Under-Secretary of Economic Affairs at the Ministry of Economy, reviewed the request by Uber and Careem for economic concentration in connection with the proposed acquisition, said the statement from the ministry.

After studying the market conditions for private taxi transport services, the committee found that the acquisition would not result in a situation of economic concentration in excess of the percentages stipulated in Competition law (40 per cent), and then recommended approval of the application.

In addition, the committee discussed a number of vital issues on its agenda aimed at promoting competition and commercial practices in the markets, including follow-up to requests from companies operating in the credit, labour recruitment and livestock import sectors, as well as a number of other sectors, it added.-TradeArabia News Service


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