Supreme Court Asks For Probe Against Uber To Be Completed Within 6 Months

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Uber allegedly resorted to abusive practices with the sole intent of establishing its monopoly (File)

New Delhi:

The Supreme Court has asked the Director General of Competition Commission of India (CCI) to complete a probe into the allegations of ''predatory pricing'' against Uber India Systems Pvt Ltd within six months.

A bench of Justice RF Nariman and Justice Surya Kant dismissed the appeal of Uber challenging a 2016 order of the appellate tribunal directing Director General of CCI to investigate the allegations of predatory pricing made by Meru Cabs.

"The Director General is requested to complete investigation within a period of six months from today (September 3)," the bench said in its order.

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According to the provision of the Competition Act, ''predatory price'' means sale of services at a price which is below cost.

The bench referred to the allegations against Uber, pricing and other details placed before it and noted in its order that abuse of dominant position under the law gets attracted if any service provider imposes an unfair price in purchase or sale, including predatory price.

The top court also referred to the provisions of the Competition Act which deal with dominant position and its abuse by service providers.

The top court had in January 2017 ordered status quo on the CCI probe against Uber for predatory pricing allegations. The Competition Appellate Tribunal (Compat) had on December 7, 2016, ordered fair trade watchdog CCI to probe afresh the alleged abuse of dominance by Uber.

According to Meru Cab's complaint, Uber allegedly resorted to many abusive practices with the sole intent of establishing its monopoly and eliminate otherwise equally efficient competitors from the market by way of discounts and incentives.

It was alleged that Uber is spending about USD 885 million to generate revenue of USD 415 million.

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