Uber India takes rival Ola to court over fake fares

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By Larry Banks

There is currently a heated battle going on in India as two of the largest names in ride-sharing apps, Uber and local firm Ola, fight it out to win the hearts and minds of customers. In a lawsuit filed in Delhi’s High Court, the American firm claims Ola has been using underhand tactics to gain the upper edge, according to a report in Bloomberg.

Apparently Ola created over 90,000 fake Uber accounts, using fake phone numbers, in order to tie up its rival’s drivers trying to catch fares. The fake accounts would basically request rides, estimates at 400,000 false bookings, and then cancel them, leaving drivers customer-less and taking up their valuable time.

Ola of course has denied the claims, which are said to have occurred in the six months between August last year and this February.

Unfortunately, it’s not unheard of for such ride-sharing firms to use shady tactics to deal a blow to the opposition. A report from the Verge in 2014 showed that Uber hired so-called brand ambassadors to take rides from rival Lyft and then convince the drivers to switch companies. Lyft also claimed that its rival had been calling and then cancelling thousands of rides.

Ola is in a partnership involving other dominant ride-sharing firms in India, including China’s Didi Kuaidi, GrabTaxi from Singapore and Lyft, clubbing together as Uber rapidly expands its own presence.

A hearing for Uber’s petition against Ola is set to take place on September 14th.

SOURCE: Bloomberg.

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