Things have been a bit hard for Lyft in recent months. At the hands of financial woes that knocked their cash reserves down to about $1.4 billion, they reportedly started banging on doors in search of a buyer. Anonymous sources say that they went to a large number of tech and auto firms, such as Alphabet, Apple, and General Motors, who they ended up having somewhat serious chats with on the matter, but were ultimately unable to drum up enough interest to get an offer that they liked. Reports allege that they even turned down a low offer from GM, their top investor, despite GM recently handing Lyft enough capital to boost their value up to $5.5 billion.
Things got a bit interesting when Lyft approached their arch rival, Uber, to ask about a deal. On the heels of a long history of trying to make Lyft look less valuable than them in front of investors, Uber capped off negotiations at a fairly insulting $2 billion, on orders from CEO Travis Kalanick. This, of course, wound up being a moot point, since Uber never put a formal offer on the table in the end. The two alternative transit firms had been in talks over a merger intermittently since 2014, making it somewhat hard to tell if Uber's low informal offer was an honest bid in light of the situation surrounding the two companies, or if it was an insult of sorts.
According to Kalanic, however, none of that would really matter at this point, because a merger of the two companies in any form is unlikely due to antitrust concerns. Being the two biggest ridesharing companies in the nation, Lyft and Uber have constantly competed in terms of service perks, promotions, coverage, and pricing, bringing all of the usual benefits of competition to consumers at the expense of similar services looking to break into the space. With self-driving cars around the corner, regulators would likely be none too happy to approve what would essentially amount to the creation of a mega ridesharing alliance that would make it all but impossible for fresh faces to show up in the field.