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Thursday, 9 August 2018

ECA to conclude investigation into Uber antitrust complaints “soon”

ECA to conclude investigation into Uber antitrust complaints “soon”: The Egyptian Competition Authority (ECA) is still looking into complaints brought against Uber by ride-hailing rivals Careem and Ousta, but the investigation should wrap up soon, according to an ECA statement out on Wednesday (pdf). Ousta and Careem had filed a complaint in December 2016 alleging that Uber engaged in monopolistic practices when it did not raise fares and temporarily stopped charging its drivers a 20% service fee through the end of January 2017. Former ECA boss Mona El Garf said in April of last year that the agency had begun investigating the matter.

Did the ECA leave a Singaporean Easter egg for us to ponder? The ECA began the statement by referring to a ruling by the Competition Commission of Singapore against a merger between Uber and its South East Asian rival Grab. Uber and Grab had reached an agreement in March whereby the latter would buy Uber’s regional business in exchange for Uber acquiring a 27.5% of Grab and a board seat. The ECA said it was studying the Singapore authority’s ruling.

In related news, Uber and Nacita AutoCare today launched the Rent to Own vehicle solutions program in Egypt to facilitate car ownership for Uber drivers renting their cars, according to an Uber statement (pdf). The program, which comes in partnership with the Investment and International Cooperation Ministry and has received EGP 45 mn in funding from the Saudi Fund for Development, will see qualifying drivers paying 5% interest on cars they are renting to purchase the vehicle after 36 months provided they pay 30% of the car’s sticker price.

Further afield, New York City on Wednesday approved legislation that would cap the number of licenses given to ride-hailing apps Uber and Lyft in what Bloomberg calls a political blow to the industry. The legislation also gives the city the right to set minimum pay standards for drivers.

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