The EU competition watchdogs have allowed the announced combination of mobility services by Daimler and BMW, including the car sharing services DriveNow and Car2go to proceed, under certain conditions.
BMW and Daimler expect that the consolidation of the mobility services and car sharing services will help subdue the costs, while supporting growth and innovation. Additionally, the fusion is an open challenge to Uber and other car sharing service providers, who began encroaching on the automobile manufacturer’s business some time ago.
++ Kindly find an update to the news at the end of the article. ++
At the moment, the marketability of car sharing services is still a challenge. Particularly the free-floating approach has presented a series of problems for service providers and fleet operators. When facing big competition such as the U.S. Uber or China’s Didi, having a large bankroll such as Daimler and BMW will likely prove a strong benefit in the long term.
In several cities, there are also competitive rules regarding car sharing services, including Berlin, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Cologne, Munich and Vienna. Due to these local restrictions, BMW and Daimler will have to make their mobility app available to other service providers, as well as making their services available through other mobility apps. In effect, this means that access to Moovel will have to be provided to other services for short term vehicle rentals, and that BMW and Daimler offers will have to be accessible through other mobility service apps to prevent monopolization of the business.
A total of six joint ventures will be founded to accompany the new mobility service initiative. In these, the new mobility services will be bundled in five new business units: A car sharing service with DriveNow and Car2go, a ride-hailing service, a parking service, a joint venture to provide access to charging services, as well as a fifth joint venture for potential new mobility services. The final joint venture will oversee the brand management and licensing for the other five.
Update December, 9, 2018: BMW and Daimler will have to postpone the planned merger of their car sharing services until next year due to ongoing discussions with the US antitrust authorities. The joint mobility company based in Berlin is now expected to be founded at the beginning of 2019.