Meru Cabs files complaints, alleges unified monopoly of Ola, Uber

Ola

Meru Cabs has filed complaints against cab-hailing companies Ola and Uber alleging dominance by burning huge sum of investors money to distort the India’s $ 12 billion estimated taxi market.

“Even before there is any merger or alliance between the two through global investors, there is already a unified monopoly,” Meru’s CEO Nilesh Sangoi was quoted by VCCircle.

Uber and Ola have been altering driver incentives and passenger fares, he added. The moves by SoftBank to put in some $10 billion into Uber along with other investors could strengthen the local cab service’s case.

Earlier, Meru lost its anti-trust suit against Ola. The CCI has dismissed allegations against cab aggregator Ola, owned by ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd, predatory pricing filed by two Bengaluru-based radio taxi operators – Fast Track Call Cab Pvt. Ltd and Meru Travel Solutions Pvt. Ltd.

The complainants added that the cab-hailing company had violated the Competition Act of 2002 with its pricing move. The other companies did not have the means to offer similar discounts and incentives to commuters and drivers, respectively.

CCI has ruled in favour of Ola, dismissing the petition on the grounds that the evidence on record did not establish the dominance of Ola in the relevant market.

However, Ola and Uber did not respond to the development till the publication of the article. 

At present, Ola operates in over 100 Indian cities and Uber in about 30. These two prominent players have burnt millions of dollars to lure riders and drivers in a bid to outrun each other. Ola on Wednesday raised $1.1 billion from China’s Tencent Holdings and SoftBank.

Whereas Meru operates in 24 cities. But it has no direct backing of large foreign investors.

The antitrust cases in India, nevertheless, are set to further intensify the showdown between ride-hailing firms and local players in India’s $12 billion taxi market.

Uber is already bogged down by anti-monopoly concerns in neighbouring China, where the commerce ministry last year began investigating its deal with Didi Chuxing that created a roughly $35 billion giant dominating the China car-hailing market.

SoftBank is trying to have a winning position, irrespective of Ola or Uber win the Indian market. SoftBank Vision Fund CEO Rajeev Misra recently told Economic Times he hopes “to make peace” between Uber and Ola. Meru was launched in 2007 as an air-conditioned radio cab service. It is now competing with Uber and Ola, who made late entry but are ahead in market share.

Meru was launched in 2007 as an air-conditioned radio cab service. It is now competing with Uber and Ola, who made late entry but are ahead in market share. Till date, it has raised $75,000,000, according to Crunchbase data.

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