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Qatar To Block Uber and Careem Acqusition Deal

With both companies facing setbacks in their acquisition journey, it's becoming more difficult to decipher the future of this deal.

In a recent filing, Qatar’s competition authority reveals the blockage of Uber’s proposed multi-billion acquisition of Careem in the country, as reported by MENAbytes. The statement lacks a couple of key details; however, the decision was made privately between the establishments back in August 2019 and hasn’t been publicly announced yet by the governing body in Qatar.

In Qatar, Careem’s business equates to only 1.8% of its overall business worldwide. Although this incident could count as a setback for both companies, this news hardly translates as bad news. As reported by MENAbytes earlier this year, the price of the $3.1 billion deal could decrease if Careem and Uber fail to obtain regulatory approvals in its respective market.

According to Uber’s filing, Uber and Careem aim to seek further review of the decision. The filing also revealed that the Uber and Careem deal has been under review by various antitrust agencies in the region including Egypt and Saudi Arabia. It should be noted that the United Arab Emirates is the only country that has formally approved of the Uber-Careem deal as disclosed by the UAE’s Ministry of Economy.

Additionally, earlier in May of this year, the Egyptian authority met with officials from Uber and Careem to discuss the aforementioned proposition, with certain media outlets issuing statements warning both companies against the merger and the possibility of the companies facing multi-million-dollar fines.

Similarly, in a statement issued by Careem to Reuters, Careem has exited the Sudanese market less than a year after launching in Sudan’s capital, and just three months after Uber announced its acquisition. Both Uber and Careem had reported that the deal is expected to close in early 2020 but these complications serve as obstacles in the face of the ride-hailing giants.

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