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Uber considering acquisition of Daimler-BMW’s Free Now ride service: Report

Uber expressed interest after Free Now invited additional investors to tide over impact from the COVID-19 pandemic, but it is also likely that other bidders may come forward

September 30, 2020 / 10:45 AM IST
Ride sharing services (Representative Image)

Ride sharing services (Representative Image)

Uber Technologies is looking to potentially acquire Free Now, Daimler AG and BMW AG’s jointly held cab riding service, to boost its market share in Europe and Latin America.

Early discussions for the acquisition have been held, but “there is no certainty the deliberations will lead to a transaction,” sources said as per a Bloomberg report.

Moneycontrol could not independently verify the report.

Further, deciding on a price would be “complicated” by challenges posed for the ride sharing market by the current crisis, one source said.

Uber expressed interest after Free Now invited additional investors to tide over impact from the COVID-19 pandemic, but it is also likely that other bidders may come forward.

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Uber, BMW and Daimler did not answer questions, the report added.

Follow our LIVE Updates on the coronavirus pandemic here

Free Now is an amalgamation of France’s Kapten, Greece’s Beat and Romania’s Clever taxi. It is part of Daimler-BMW’s 618 million euro ($720 million – as on June-end) joint venture called Your Now, which comprises five businesses.

Daimler and BMW’s move to shed Free Now comes on the heels of other car manufacturers making similar moves to generate cash and scale back mobility services which face multiple and varied challenges across geographies. General Motors for example shut Maven in early 2020 and Ford Motor shut Chariot in 2019.

Follow our full COVID-19 coverage here

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first published: Sep 30, 2020 10:45 am