Uber Confirms 2014 Negotiations to Buy Lyft

Key Speakers at WEF Annual Meeting of the New Champions
Travis Kalanick, billionaire and chief executive officer of Uber Technologies Inc., listens during a session at the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting of the New Champions in Tianjin, China, on Sunday, June 26, 2016. The meeting runs through June 28. Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Photo by Qilai Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images

After reports surfaced that Uber was in talks to acquire its competitor Lyft, CEO Travis Kalanick confirmed these efforts have failed.

Back in 2014, Uber tried to acquire Lyft, Kalanick said in an interview with The Economist on Friday. But those talks fell through due to disagreements in pricing.

Now, Lyft is worth $5.5 billion and is Uber’s greatest rival in the U.S with 20% market share. Uber has the other 80% of the country’s market share and is valued at $70 billion. The smaller company has also successfully expanded to several cities, including Washington D.C. and San Francisco. As a result, Uber is putting more money into defending its turf.

Some have wondered if Kalanick regretted the failed attempt to acquire Lyft, but in his interview, the CEO said there was nothing to regret.

“It’s a really powerful thing for a company to compete. It makes you fierce about serving your customer,” Kalanick said.

The CEO also noted that having Lyft around has helped divide regulatory scrutiny


In the past, Uber was aggressive in its competition tactics. Kalanick told Vanity Fair in December 2014 that he went to Lyft investors in a bid to thwart the smaller firm’s fundraising efforts. Uber also sent undercover agents onto Lyft rides in a bid to convince drivers to defect to Uber.

Technically, Uber still has a chance to buy Lyft if recent reports are to be believed. Just a few weeks ago, Lyft was said to have sought buyers in the form of Apple, Amazon, Google, General Motors, and yes—even Uber.

According to the same reports though, Uber didn’t bite.

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