Its becoming a trend. It definitely is. And what’s the trend you ask ? Taking it out on Uber if you’re a rival cab company, whenever you feel that urge of frustration and it needs to be vented out. So after Ola’s desperate attempts (please do go through this piece to know more), its Meru — which is riding high on recent fund-raising — which is now accusing Uber with the same blatant tone as its competitior (or ally?) Ola.
Trust me, the content teams in these companies have perhaps been giving straight orders. Write whatever you feel like, make sure it goes sharply against Uber, no matter how vague and factless the claims be.
First, it was Ola who filed a funny affidavit against Uber accusing it of intentionally breaking laws in India. Now, it is the radio taxi aggregator Meru which has come out listing all law breaking incidents involving Uber in the country.
In a blog post titled, “Is this the way to show your respect for the law?, Meru has responded to a recent blog post by Uber which in turn was in response to Ola’s allegations. So yeah, until the court gives the final verdict, companies are exchanging a volley of words amongst them.
What Uber said in its blog post
Uber recently responded to Ola allegations which had accused Uber of ‘bypassing laws of the land’. It claimed to have the deepest respect for the laws of India calling itself a law abiding, for-profit company.
It also questioned their competitor’s silence on whether they fully agreed with new regulations.
In the affidavit submitted by our competition, they have not commented on the regulations and are silent on the subject matter of the petition. However, they have chosen the Hon’ble Court as an avenue to level false allegations while not taking a stand on whether it supports or objects to these regulations,
It further justified its stand for framing new laws for online taxi aggregators to support innovation and technology. This, Uber believes, would give riders the choice and drivers the opportunities that make them better off.
It’s not about ‘bypassing laws of the land’ but it’s about building for tomorrow by participating today – so we don’t stifle the innovations that are surely coming to us,
Is this the way to show your respect for the law? – Meru asks Uber
Mery has basically questioned Uber on this uniform strategy of breaking laws in all countries and then pressurizing regulators to change laws- all in the name of disruption of technology and to promote innovation.
Their play book globally is the same: First break the law – then use billions of dollars of funding to kill the competition through unrealistic and predatory pricing to consumers and massive incentives to drivers – then if regulators react to any violation of laws, create huge social media campaigns using the consumer base created though subsidized pricing to put pressure on regulators to change the laws,
writes Meru in the blog post.
Meru reminded Uber about how many times it has broken laws in India so far. It accused Uber of violating RBI regulation of two-factor authentication for all online payments before RBI forcefully stopped the violation.
In 2013, a hugely funded company called Uber enters India with a payment system that does not adhere to 2FA and calls it a great technology innovation,
It has also accused Uber of not paying service taxes for a long period of time after it entered India. Furthermore, Meru also reminds Uber about how it has been constantly breaking laws over these years- putting diesel cabs on roads in Delhi despite the ban, using AITP cabs for point to point service within city, no taxi badges for its drivers in Mumbai which is mandatory by law, and of course continuing with surge pricing in Delhi and Bangalore despite the ban.