While Uber has exited some markets in Southeast Asia, it most recently sold out to Grab in the region, the company is reportedly looking to acquire its biggest rival in the Middle East. According to a new report, Uber is in talks to acquire Dubai-based Careem for a price between $2-2.5 billion.


Citing people familiar with the matter, Bloomberg reports today that Uber and Careem are in talks for a potential acquisition. The scribe adds that there’s no final decision as yet so the talks can fall through if no deal is reached.

It’s said that Uber and Careem first held preliminary talks in July to merge their Middle Eastern business in a bid to resolve a rivalry in the region that’s proving to be costly for both companies. The talks appear to have evolved into negotiations for a complete buyout of the company.

Careem operates in dozens of markets in the Middle East and has established itself as a bona fide Uber competitor. If a deal is reached, it would make Uber the biggest ride-hailing service operator in the region. Uber had previously said that it would not be exiting any more markets so perhaps it feels that an acquisition will serve its aims better in the Middle East.

Uber and Careem have yet to comment on this report.

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