VC funded taxi aggregators Ola and Uber have been accused many a times of indulging in unethical practices to wipe out the competition, often by offering very low prices, a practice called predatory pricing. In a similar ongoing case against Ola Cabs, Competition Appellate Tribunal (Compat) recently refused to take any interim action against Ola till the time of final decision by CCI.
The appeal was filed by radio taxi operator Fast Track Call Cabs to restrict the parent company of Ola, ANI Technologies. However, Compat rejected the plea saying that it was yet to be decided by Competition Commission of India (CCI) if Ola really violated the section 4(2) of the Competition Act pertaining to abuse of market position .
The finding/ conclusion which may be recorded by the DG and the final order to be passed by the Commission are in the realm of speculation.Therefore, the prayer for interim injunction made by the appellant could not have been decided by the Commission by assuming that the allegations made in the information have been proved,
said Compat in its order.
Compat comes under Corporate Affairs ministry and hears appeals against the rulings made by the CCI. Fast Track Call Cabs had earlier filed the complaint against ANI technologies for allegedly indulging in predatory pricing.
After looking into the complaint, CCI had said that on “prima facie” (on first impression basis) Ola did in fact abuse its dominant position in Bengaluru City. In May last year, CCI ordered a detailed probe into the conduct of ANI technologies and find out if it was indulging in the predatory pricing to keep the competition away.
Later in September, CCI directed its investigation arm Director General(DG) to look into the matter as well as the conduct of the Ola officials.
At that time, Fast Track Call Cabs had urged CCI to issue an interim order against Ola to operate its business. The appeal was refused by CCI as the case was already under investigation saying that
Commission is not convinced that any interim relief is required to be granted in this case.