CHENNAI: The metro’s own erstwhile call taxi market leader Fast Track is determined to continue definitive action against online taxi cab aggregator Ola Cabs after a petition filed by them against Ola for ‘predatory pricing’ and ‘unfair trade practices’ resulted in the Competition Council of India (CCI) ordering a probe.
"We will definitely continue measures against them through channels parallel to the CCI and we are in the process of initiating them," M Prabhu, Chairman of Fast Track Call Taxi Pvt Ltd., made it clear. The measures, he added, might include dragging the rival to the courts.
Fast Track’s petition against Ola’s holding company, ANI Technologies Pvt Ltd, at the CCI resulted in a probe ordered by the fair trade practice watchdog. The CCI order, dated April 24 and made public on Wednesday, stated that prima facie evidence pointed to Ola abusing its dominant position in the market.
“In view of the allegations projected in the information and the observations made as detailed, prima facie, the Commission is of the opinion that the conduct of ANI Technologies amounts to abuse of dominant position within the meaning of Section 4 of the Act,” the order said. According to the CCI, Ola’s business practices indicated “predatory pricing aimed to oust other players from the relevant market” since the company was “spending more money on discounts and incentives (apart from the variable costs it may be incurring) on customers and drivers compared to the revenue it was earning.” The CCI subsequently ordered the Director General of the CCI to conduct an investigation into Ola’s operations and, during the course of the investigation, the conduct of ANI Technologies’ officials and complete it within 60 days from the receipt of the order.
“We had observed in our petition that Ola is indulging in several unfair trade practices like predatory pricing,” said Prabhu. Fast Track is also alleging that Ola’s practices of providing incentives to drivers and charging very low tariff was a way of killing off competition, among other things.
The Bengaluru-based cab service, however, refused to comment on these developments.