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Australia: ACCC refuses to accelerate Cabcharge’s answer to Uber

 |  July 19, 2015

Cabcharge, local taxi networks and a US-based taxi company have had a setback in their bid to launch a new international booking app this month called iHail to compete with Uber after the competition watchdog refused to fast-track approval of the joint venture.

Cabcharge, the NSW Taxi Council, and networks run by Cabcharge including Silver Top Taxis and Yellow Cabs, as well as US-based Taxi Services Inc.Minneapolis and Mobile Tracking and Data, which provides the taxi dispatch booking system for the Cabcharge networks, plan to offer the app in Australia, the US and Britain.

Cabcharge chief executive Andrew Skelton said in May he planned to have the new app ready by July after flagging the need to consolidate taxi network brands and offer a single booking app at the company’s annual general meeting in late 2014.

On May 26, the networks asked the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to grant an interim authorisation.

The ACCC turned down the interim authorisation and asked for further submissions by the end of July before making a draft decision in August or September because a feature that could contravene laws governing taxi fares was left out of the original application. This allows people to pay extra via the app to get a taxi to come quicker.

The Queensland government has asked that this feature to be removed from the app. It is understood this could contravene some state laws that limit taxi fares to the meter reading and set a maximum fare based on time and distance.

Full content: The Sydney Morning Herald

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