On March 29, 2021, the CMA unconditionally cleared the acquisition by Uber of Autocab following a Phase 1 investigation. Uber is active in the supply of taxi services, while Autocab offers booking and dispatch technology (BDT) to local cab companies that compete with Uber. Autocab also operates iGo, a network for the referral of trips between local cab companies and demand aggregators. The CMA considered both horizontal and vertical theories of harm. The former involved a loss of indirect competition between the Parties to supply BDT services and referral networks in the UK today and/or a loss of potential direct (or stronger indirect) competition in the future. The latter involved harm to the competitiveness of taxi companies and aggregators through a decline in the quality of the inputs that Autocab currently supplies to them. The CMA ultimately found that the evidence does not support that the merger may be expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition.
A CRA team including Cristina Caffarra, Uğur Akgün, Muath Masri, Tara Mampilly, Saul Mendelsohn, Aonghus Ó Cochlain and Pablo Olmos advised Uber and Autocab.
For more details, please see the CMA’s press release here.