Uber-Ola Rivalry Turns Dirty; App Companies Take Legal Route To Dominate Market!
Online taxi booking niche is no doubt a big, ever expanding market; but it has now become so fierce and competitive that companies are resorting to legal routes and dragging one another to court to prove which company is bigger; and to showcase unethical moves triggered by the other.
In one of its first case in India, world’s largest taxi booking app, Uber, has sued India born, Softbank backed Ola for resorting to unethical means of fighting the battle.
And going by the looks of it, the battle has just begun.
The Legal Case for Domination
In a petition filed in Delhi High Court, Uber has said that Ola is intentionally impersonating riders and misguiding Uber’s drivers which has incurred them huge losses in tune of Rs. 50 Crore.
As per the complaint by Uber, Ola’s officials and hired personals are making ‘fake calls’ to Uber and ordering disguised bookings, whose main intention is to confuse Uber drivers. Uber has requested the court for ‘perpetual injunction’ and punish Ola for this unethical way to cause disruption in the market.
In their response, Ola has described the case as ‘false and frivolous’.
Justice Vipin Sanghi from Delhi High Court, is hearing this unique case and has given Ola and their subsidiary Serendipity Cabs time till September 14th to respond, when the case would be heard again.
The verdict can be a landmark decision, as Indian judiciary has never encountered a case of this magnitude and depth.
As per the petition filed, Ola has created “93,859 false rider accounts” on Uber’s platform wherein ‘fake names, email IDs and untraceable phone numbers’ have been used. Uber claimed that Ola has made “405,649 false bookings of taxi rides” and then cancelled them to confuse and demoralize Uber drivers.
Uber claims that due to this reason, 20,000 drivers have left their platform and Ola is solely responsible for the same.
Ola’s legal counsels replied, “It is not beyond our imagination that this is an effort to divert attention from the current realities of the market where Uber has faced major setbacks including the recent incidents of Uber vehicles being seized by the government authorities,”
Earlier, Ola had also sued Uber for purchasing new diesel vehicles which is against Delhi Govt.’s rules pertaining to online taxi bookings. Uber’s legal hustle may be a counter-attack for this allegation.
Interestingly, last December, autorickshaw aggregator Jugnoo had filed a case against Ola, accusing them of poaching their drivers and employees in Chandigarh.
In the last few weeks, the rivalry between Ola and Uber has reached a crescendo as both the companies have claimed that they are bigger, and that the other is about to lose market share.
Taxi booking is a $6 billion market in India, and organized service providers like Ola, Uber, Meru etc constitute 6% of the market. It would be really interesting to see which one actually wins the market.
We will keep you updated as more details come in..