British watchdog probing Uber-Autocab deal over competition concerns

FILE PHOTO: Uber's logo is displayed on a mobile phone in London, Britain, September 14, 2018. REUTERS/Hannah Mckay

(Reuters) - A British competition watchdog said on Friday it was probing whether Uber’s takeover of UK tech firm Autocab, a provider of taxi booking and dispatch software, would substantially reduce competition in the country.

The Silicon Valley-based company is cooperating with the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) inquiry, an Uber spokeswoman said in an email statement.

Uber bought Autocab for an undisclosed amount in August.

The acquisition will allow it to link people in locations where they cannot access Uber services. The new tool is expected to be rolled out in Britain before expanding into other countries.

The CMA said it had a deadline of March 26 to decide whether to refer the deal for an in-depth investigation and invited comments from interested parties to aid its decision.

Reporting by Tanishaa Nadkar and Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva