Lyft is not happy with Travis Kalanick and Uber. Last week, Lyft found itself the subject of several stories claiming the company was involved in active but unsuccessful acquisition talks with a number of firms. Naturally, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick seized the opportunity to zing his competition.
Kalanick told Uber investors that his company wouldn’t pay more than $2 billion for Lyft, his largest competitor. However, even so, Bloomberg reported, Kalanick said he wouldn’t pursue an acquisition because of the antitrust investigation that would likely ensue.
That’s a far cry from the $9 billion price tag that Recode says Lyft was looking for in its acquisition discussions. Of course, Uber has incentive to downplay its rival’s value and there’s little risk to doing so, even if it has the appearance of punching down. A source close to Lyft that The Verge spoke to after Kalanick’s $2 billion Lyft valuation appeared in the press was furious with the action and noted that it was far from the first time that the Uber had tried to interfere with Lyft’s business.
"The Bloomberg report is a classic example of Uber using unsavory tactics in an attempt to impact our business," said a Lyft spokesperson to The Verge, echoing the sentiment. "Lyft is not for sale, we are on a fully funded path to profitability."
The source said that Lyft had an fiduciary obligation to its investors to entertain every legitimate offer, even if the company wasn’t in a position where it needed to sell itself. Still, Lyft has a long way to go to compete with Uber on an even footing — perhaps Lyft’s best asset is that it is Uber’s only significant competitor in the United States, something that could serve it well down the line in future acquisition talks as other firms look to hold off Uber’s advances.