CCP okays Uber-Careem merger, attaches conditions.

ISLAMABAD: The Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) has approved the Uber and Careem merger, imposing pro-competitive and tough conditions ensuring a level-playing field for new entrants and competitors in the app-based ridesharing market.

The conditions will remain applicable on Uber up to three years after the merger or until the occurrence of 'meaningful market entry of competitors'.

Meaningful entry will occur when one or more ridesharing services provider(s) launch in Pakistan and achieve individually at least 25 per cent market share, or collectively at least 33.3pc of weekly ridesharing trips on average for three consecutive months.

This condition will allow competitors to grow and flourish in the app-based ridesharing and for the merged entity not to abuse its dominant position.

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The CCP opened a Phase-II review of the merger as it was resulting in a significant lessening of competition in the market for ridesharing apps.

In its Phase II-Order, the CCP has imposed certain conditions on Uber to address the competition concerns regarding an increase in prices of products or services, discriminatory pricing, degradation in quality of services, and possible lack of innovation.

The commission has imposed a "no contractual exclusivity" condition to ensure that drivers or captains are free to offer their services on any ridesharing platform they choose, as well as being street-hailed.

Uber shall maintain the contractual service fee for UberGo and UberMini across all drivers nationwide, in the range of 22.5-27.5pc. This cap will ensure that drivers or captains do not see a decrease in their earnings.

The CCP has also directed Uber to apply a cap of 12.5pc per year on the Total Organic Fare charged to riders for a trip to protect consumers from unreasonable increases.

At the same...

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