Uber is in talks with German automakers Daimler AG and BMW AG to acquire their ride-hailing joint venture FreeNow, as reported by Bloomberg. If this deal goes through, Uber can significantly improve its market share in Europe, as FreeNow operates in more than 100 European cities.
A FreeNow buyout would be another high-profile deal for Uber, following its agreement to acquire Middle East-based ride-hailing company Careem for $1.7 billion, finalized earlier this year.
This has been a major reversal of fortunes for Uber, following its regular ceding to foreign market competitors — including selling local operations to Didi Chuxing in China and Grab in Southeast Asia and merging Russian operations with local tech giant Yandex’s taxi service.
Hamburg, Germany-based FreeNow was founded in early 2019 as part of Your Now, a Daimler-BMW partnership in which the two companies roughly invested $1.14 billion across five promising segments within the mobility-as-a-service market.