The acquisition of car-sharing service Steetcar by American rival Zipcar has been referred to the Competition Commission in the United Kingdom.
The world’s largest car sharing service, Zipcar announced its intention to purchase Streetcar in April 2010.
However, the transaction will now receive “additional scrutiny”.
“Naturally, we’re disappointed by the decision of the Office for Fair Trading, which imposes a delay on a transaction from which consumers and the environment stand to benefit enormously,” said Zipcar chairman Scott Griffith.
Combining Zipcar and Streetcar would offer consumers access to more cars, more locations both within London and in North America, more convenience and enhanced technology while reducing car ownership and congestion, argued Mr Griffith.
The combination would also present a real alternative to auto manufacturers, car sharing providers and car rental companies, a number of whom have already entered or expressed interest in entering car sharing, he added.
“We intend to cooperate fully with the Competition Commission and we are confident that once a more detailed review is undertaken, the Commission will conclude the acquisition does not give rise to a substantial lessening of competition,” continued Mr Griffith.
“We will maintain our service levels and car availability as we always have, because our members are our top priority.”
Zipcar is the world’s leading with more than 400,000 members and 7,000 vehicles in urban areas and college campuses throughout the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.