Mytaxi, Hailo to merge in Europe-wide taxi hailing app
FRANKFURT, Germany – Germany-based mytaxi and Britain's Hailo said on Tuesday, July 26, that they would merge their two taxi hailing apps to become Europe's biggest app-based taxi service.
In a statement, mytaxi – owned by Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler – said the combined firm would have a fleet of 100,000 drivers spread across 50 cities in 9 countries.
Daimler Financial Services CEO Klaus Entenmann called the deal a "strategic step" as the car maker tries to anticipate a passenger transport market that's being transformed by technology.
Hailo's brand is set to disappear, with the mytaxi name replacing it in Britain, Spain, and Ireland by mid-2017.
The deal – a share-only transaction with no cash changing hands – has yet to be approved by European monopoly regulators.
Neither Hailo nor mytaxi commented on the financial details of the merger.
The acquisition broadens mytaxi's battle with San Francisco-based Uber for customers in key European markets including London.
European taxi operators and some regulators have pushed back against the Silicon Valley darling's model, which sees individuals sign up to offer rides in their private vehicles in exchange for payment via its app.
The US company suffered negative court judgements in both France and Germany in June and in July withdrew altogether from Hungary, which passed legislation the company said made it "impossible" to operate.
Faced with mounting legal challenges, Uber reacted in 2014 by allowing users to book trips with traditional taxis via its app in some markets. (READ: EU warns against curbing companies such as Uber) – Rappler.com