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Uber’s Pending Acquisition of Careem Approved by the Egyptian Competition Authority

Approvals already been granted in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and now, Egypt.

The Egyptian Competition Authority announces its approval of Uber’s pending acquisition of Careem. With this approval, the transaction is expected to close in early 2020.The companies had agreed on the acquisition in March 2019, pending regulatory approvals across the MENA, with approval already have been granted in the UAE, Jordan, KSA, and now Egypt. The deal has been facing much controversy and often highlighted as the breakthrough event of the year, however, both Uber and Careem continue to work with the relevant antitrust authorities to obtain the remaining approval in Pakistan and Morocco, after facing trouble getting approval in Qatar. 

“We welcome the decision by the Egyptian Competition Authority to approve Uber's pending acquisition of Careem. Uber and Careem joining forces will deliver exceptional outcomes for riders, drivers, and cities across Egypt,” says an Uber representative in a press release sent to Startup Scene.

According to the Economic Centre for Egyptian Studies, the Egyptian Competition Authority initially halted the deal and warned the companies from going forward with the acqusition unless they comply to a certain set of conditions, which aligns with the organisation's effort to combat excessive market competitiveness. With a change of heart moving forward, the deal will allow Uber and Careem to be a part of a large and long-term investment into the country by a leading global technology company; it is a "globally visible endorsement" of the country’s overall investment ecosystem, its openness to innovation, and its ability to diversify beyond traditional sources of foreign investment.

By coming together to highlight each other’s strengths, the acquisition deal brings together Uber’s global market leadership and technical knowledge with Careem’s proven ability to develop innovative solutions for the local market, and further aiming to deliver even greater benefits for riders, drivers, and the broader economy.  

The deal will provide an opportunity to combine the companies’ respective expertise and operational capabilities across a wide range of fields, including networks, mapping, payments, and new products like high-capacity vehicles and services like UberBus. Additionally, the deal will allow the corporation to expand the variety and reliability of services offered to the rider, at a broader range of price points to serve more consumers in more communities across the country.

The local transport-tech industry is a vibrant and highly competitive market with many efficient alternatives—including ride-sharing, taxis, personal rentals, minibuses, and public transportation—which consumers can and do choose between. The ECA has been putting restrictions upon certain corporations, including Uber, to avoid monopoly in the market. Looking ahead, the competitive landscape looks to become only more dynamic, with low barriers to entry and new expansion by aggressive and innovative competitors always on the horizon.


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