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Australia: ACCC blocks launch of taxi industry’s Uber-style app

 |  October 12, 2015

The competition regulator has announced it will prevent the launch of a new taxi booking app designed to compete with ride-sharing companies like Uber and GoCatch.

The iHail app provides passengers with a single taxi booking platform, regardless of which network the driver belongs to.

iHail is an arrangement between Yellow Cabs, Silver Top Taxi Service, Black and White Cabs, Suburban Taxis and Cabcharge.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chairman Rod Sims said with well over 80 per cent of taxis in major metro cities signed up to the app, it was too big a slice of the booking pie.

“What they want to do is bring the two largest players together through the iHail app, and that’s what we have concerns with,” he said.

Mr Sims argued the app was unnecessary since each taxi company already had an existing app that took care of its mobile booking requirements.

“You’ve got a small inroad being made through Ingogo and GoCatch and to some extent Uber, and we’ve just got to make sure that competition is preserved, so that’s what we’re trying to do with this decision.”

The ACCC was also concerned passengers would only be able to pay through the app using Cabcharge.

Full content: The Wall Street Journal

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