Uber denies anti-competitive practices, abuse of its position

By: |
March 02, 2017 5:28 AM

Uber India Systems on Wednesday told the Supreme Court that it didn’t indulge in any anti-competitive practices and abuse of its dominant position as alleged by its rival Meru Travel Solutions.

Uber India Systems, Uber India, Meru Travel Solution, Uber Meru Spatm Supreme Court, Kapil Sibal, Justice Dipak Misra, Competition Appellate Tribunal, taxi-haling services, Uber News, CCIUber India Systems on Wednesday told the Supreme Court that it didn’t indulge in any anti-competitive practices and abuse of its dominant position as alleged by its rival Meru Travel Solutions.

Popular taxi-hailing app operator Uber India Systems on Wednesday told the Supreme Court that it didn’t indulge in any anti-competitive practices and abuse of its dominant position as alleged by its rival Meru Travel Solutions.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Uber, told a bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra that there was no prima facie case made against it that could lead to a probe ordered by the Competition Appellate Tribunal (Compat) for alleged anti-competitive practices and abuse of dominant position.

He further argued that there was no question of any abuse of dominant position under Section 4 of the Competition Act as there were other rival taxi-haling services including Ola and Meru. “I don’t control customer, choice (customer’s choice between cab sevices including Ola) or driver… so how can I be a dominant player,” Sibal contended.

He argued that reducing the cost of rides for its customers was generating competition in the market, which is similar to what is happening in the telecom sector. Opposing Sibal, senior counsel AM Singhvi, appearing for Meru, said that the apex court should not interfere in the case as it was a tactic used by Uber to delay investigations against it. As per the Meru’s complaint, Uber allegedly resorted to many abusive practices, including predatory pricing, with the sole intent to establish its monopoly and eliminate otherwise equally efficient competitors from the market by way of discounts and incentives. It alleged that Uber is spending about $885 million to generate a revenue of $415 million.

The two-taxi-hailing apps like Uber and radio taxi service providers like Meru-are locked in a stiff competition all across the country. Earlier in January, the apex court had put on hold the Compat’s December last year’s order that directed fair trade watchdog Competition Commission of India (CCI) to probe afresh the alleged abuse of dominance by Uber. Uber had argued that the tribunal without forming any prima facie opinion ordered investigations by the director general, CCI.

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Taking note of Uber’s substantial market share, the tribunal had directed CCI’s probe unit Director General (DG) to conduct a fresh probe into the allegations of abuse of dominance and anti-competitive practices by Uber. The CCI in February last year had rejected Meru’s complaint, saying inability of the existing players to match the innovative technology of any player or the model created for operating in a particular industry cannot be said to be creating entry barriers in itself.

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