UAE Minister of Economy approves Uber’s acquisition of Careem

The merger of the two ride-hailing giants will not create unfair competition in the UAE market says ministry
Uber, Careem, Ride-hailing, Uae, Dubai

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H.E. Eng. Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansoori, UAE Minister of Economy, has issued a ministerial decision approving the acquisition of Careem - one of the leading start-ups established in the UAE - by the global company Uber.

Under the Competition Law No. 4 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.

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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.

Uber had therefore applied for Economic Concentration to the MOE with regard to Careem. 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.

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.

Al Mansoori said that public transport sectors across the world are witnessing fierce competition and the integration of expertise, competencies and modern technologies ultimately serve the interests of consumers and serve the progress of the transport sector in general.

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“The UAE is now a regional destination that attracts and embraces start-ups based on young and innovative ideas by supporting and promoting entrepreneurship,” the ministry said in a statement. “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 added that the UAE continues to follow its open economic approach, which was recently reinforced by the issuance of the new Foreign Direct Investment Law.

The law allows foreign investors up to 100 per cent ownership in selected sectors and economic. This is in line with the vision of the country’s development, which would give more incentives and facilities to investors in various fields, especially those related to innovation and advanced technologies.

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