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Lyft is said to fail to find a buyer, despite talks with several companies

Ride-hailing companies increasingly face a brutal set of competitive conditions. Lyft, the second-biggest ride-hailing company in the United States behind Uber, has acknowledged how tough the industry has become — but has found that its options are limited.

The company, which is based in San Francisco, has in recent months held talks or made approaches to sell itself to companies including General Motors, Apple, Google, Amazon, Uber and Didi Chuxing, according to a dozen people who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the discussions were private.

Lyft's discussions were most serious with G.M., which is one of the ride-hailing company's largest investors. Still, G.M. never made a written offer to buy Lyft, said the people, and in the end, Lyft did not find a buyer.

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Lyft is not in danger of closing down and has a cash cushion of $1.4 billion, these people added, so the company will continue as an independent entity.

Still, the talks underline how difficult it has become to operate in the...