The Competition Commission has provisionally cleared the completed acquisition (which occurred in April 2010) of Streetcar Limited (Streetcar) by Zipcar Inc (Zipcar), London's largest and second largest car clubs respectively. Car clubs provide cars which members can book and access 24 hours a day from convenient locations using smartcard technology.

In August, the OFT referred the case to the Competition Commission for a decision as to whether the merged entity may substantially lessen competition in the UK for the supply of car club services in London. The Competition Commission was satisfied that, due to the rapid expansion of the market, other companies are likely to enter and expand into this market, providing sufficient competitive constraint on the merged entity to prevent it increasing prices or lowering service standards to customers.

The Competition Commission also concluded that although taxis, traditional rental companies and public transport posed some competition to Zipcar/Streetcar this was limited to certain hire periods. Further, the Competition Commission concluded that there was no evidence to support concerns that the merged company would reduce competition for local authority tenders for (or obtain a larger share of) on-street parking than would have been the case had the firms been competing separately.

This provisional clearance is open for comments until 9 December and a final report is expected in January 2011.

CC38/10 - 18 November 2010