There’s no love lost between Ola and Uber. Both companies are fiercely competing for a share of India’s lucrative cab hailing market, and have been engaging in price wars, advertising and the occasional jibe to get a leg up over the other. But if Uber is to be believed, things have just got a lot more serious.
Uber has approached the Delhi High Court alleging that Ola employees have been creating fake accounts on Uber to sabotage its operations. The company says that these fake accounts have been booking and immediately cancelling rides, leading to loss of revenue for the company.
“Large number of fake accounts are being created by Ola which are then used to make false booking and cancellations using our application. This keeps our drivers busy and we have to bear the cancellation charges.” Rajiv Nayyar, counsel for Uber India told the court. Such false cancellations amounted to 8-10℅ of its total bookings, the company claimed.
Ola has denied all allegations and dubbed the move a media gimmick.
Ola and Uber have also engaged in a war of words over the last month. In March, Uber had launched its bike services in Bangalore, only to have Ola launch its own service in a city hours later. Earlier this week, Uber President Asia Eric Alexander had said the company is on the verge of overtaking Ola in India. “In January last year, we were at five per cent market share. Now, we are right at the edge of 50 per cent. Within next 30 days, we would beat them (Ola). We will surpass them very, very shortly”. Ola had shot back saying that its Micro category, which was introduced only last month, is already 50% of the sum total of Uber’s bookings in India, and it expects that the Micro category alone will overtake Uber’s entire business by the end of the month.