Meru’s plea against Uber abusing its dominant status rejected by ICC
Merualleged that Uberhad adopted certain abusive practices to exclude its competitors from the market. CCIobserved that Uber is not in a dominant position because Ola is also very present there.
- Meru had previously alleged that Ola was the dominant player, which CCI had shut down because Uber was a “stronger player”.
India’s antitrust watchdog, the
Meru had alleged that the American company Uber, because of its dominant position, had adopted certain abusive practices to oust its competitors from the market. These practices included offering unreasonable discounts to customers leading to low / predatory prices, using incentive policies that were not economically justified.
Meru noted that these incentive policies were intended to exclusively engage drivers on its network in order to prevent its competitors from gaining access to such drivers. The ICC, in its order of July 14, 2021, found that Uber is not in a dominant position in the Indian running segment because Ola, based in Bengaluru, is also present in the market. In 2015, Meru alleged that Ola was the dominant player in the market, which CCI had shut down because Uber was a “stronger player”.
“And in the facts of this case [Meru’s plea against Ola in 2015], the
The Managing Director (CEO) was reviewing Meru’s plea against Uber’s dominance in the Indian market and gave a similar conclusion (submitted February 2020). Although Meru said this conclusion contradicts the previous order on Ola, CCI found no such infirmity.
The CEO found traces of a predatory pricing structure in Uber’s case, as evidenced by its losses between 2014-2018. However, he also found similar trends in the case of Ola and Meru.
“This shows that the aggressive pricing strategy adopted by Uber was aimed at aggressively competing with the market (just like its closest competitor Ola) and building its network,” CCI argued.
The survey also found that discounts and incentives have gradually declined over time with a positive margin per trip recorded by Uber since October 2017.
Business Insider has reached out to Meru and Uber for more details on the ICC’s latest decision. The article will be updated if and when they answer our questions.
Regarding Meru’s claim about Uber’s exclusive deals with its drivers, the CEO’s investigation found that the drivers do not face any restrictions in terms of connecting to a competitor’s network.
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