Avis buys Zipcar for $500 million in an effort to control car-sharing market

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Car-sharing firm Zipcar, which operates a by-the-hour rental service in the US, Canada, UK, and Spain, has agreed to be purchased by Avis for $ 500 million. Zipcar began business in 2000 in Boston, MA, and has expanded to cover a number of major cities throughout the US and Canada. Its model, although based on existing systems in Europe, was a breath of fresh air when compared to traditional car rental services. After signing up for an annual membership, users can pick up a car from designated parking bays dotted around cities and college campuses, unlocking the vehicle via a windshield-mounted reader using their membership card. Having expanded its own international footprint by acquiring established companies like Streetcar and Avancar,…

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