BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union’s competition authority said on Wednesday it had approved the plan of German luxury carmakers Daimler (DAIGn.DE) and BMW (BMWG.DE) to combine their car-sharing businesses, subject to conditions.
Under the deal, which includes car-sharing units Car2Go and DriveNow as well as ride-hailing, parking and charging services, Daimler and BMW will each hold 50 percent stakes in a joint venture.
They have offered concessions to address EU antitrust concerns over the deal they hope would let them better compete with U.S. rival Uber and China’s Didi Chuxing.
The European Commission has found the deal would raise competition concerns for free-floating car sharing services in Berlin, Cologne, Duesseldorf, Hamburg, Munich and Vienna. It said Daimler and BMW agreed to a remedy package in the six cities.
“The commitments thus fully address the Commission’s concerns as they will reduce the barriers to entry for competing free-floating car sharing providers,” the Commission said in a statement.
“Therefore the Commission concluded that the proposed transaction, as modified by the commitments, would no longer raise competition concerns. The Commission’s decision is conditional upon full compliance with the commitments.”
Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska and Philip Blenkinsop