The UAE Minister of Economy, Eng. Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansoori, has issued a ministerial decision to approve the status of Economic Concentration in the UAE market for Uber’s acquisition of Careem. Companies operating in the UAE need to submit applications to the Ministry of Economy before completion of any acquisition or merger, regarding the status of Economic Concentration under the Competition Law No. 4 of 2012 and the Executive Regulation No. 37 of 2014.
These laws ensure that market monopolies are not created in UAE at rates that exceed a certain tipping point. Uber applied for Economic Concentration in accordance with these laws. Before giving the approval, MOE studied the market for both companies while also considering private taxi services. The approval came as the Competition Regulation Committee did not think that the acquisition would constitute a breach of competition.
The Competition Regulation Committee had its first annual meeting for this year at the Ministry of Dubai headquarters under the Undersecretary of Economic Affairs in the Ministry of Economy, H.E Eng. Mohammed Bin Abdul Aziz Al Shehhi’s chairmanship. Uber’s acquisition request was reviewed during this meeting. According to Gulf Today, the meeting was held in the presence of Humaid Bin Butti Al Muhairi, Assistant Undersecretary for Commercial Affairs, Ministry of Economy and Dr. Hashim Al Nuaimi, Director of the Competitiveness and Consumer Protection Department at the Ministry of Economy, and representatives of local authorities and Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
Al Mansoori believes that the public transport sectors are going through fierce competition on a global scale due to modern technological advancement, and emergence of multiple alternative means of transport would make the service more accessible to the public. He added that integration of expertise, technology and competencies will serve at the best interest of the consumers and pointed out that the government efforts to work in partnership with the private sector for developing the investment climate to fulfill the requirement of growth. He addressed the recent FDI report issued by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) to focus on the country’s impressive record for the past few years.