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Ola and Uber in talks for a possible merger: Report
Ola-Uber Merger

Ola and Uber in talks for a possible merger: Report

| @indiablooms | 30 Jul 2022, 05:28 pm

Ola and Uber are mulling a merger of their operations in India, media reports said adding that Ola co-founder and CEO Bhavish Aggarwal met Uber's top officials in San Francisco, US.

Economic Times reported citing sources that the meeting happened recently on the potential merger, talks on which had been initiated four years ago at the behest of the company's common investor Softbank but had failed to materialize into a deal.

As Ola and Uber are grappling to grow in the Indian market after prolonged pandemic-induced restrictions hampered business,  the ET report said the talks on the deal seem to have revived in recent months.

Both app-based ride-hailing firms spent billions of dollars on driver incentives and passenger discounts to dominate the market but couldn't reap the potential benefits because of the pandemic.

To ward off losses, Ola is focusing on core mobility with a leaner team with the company possibly looking to lay off as many as 1,000 employees, ET reported.

Meanwhile, reacting to a Bloomberg report, Uber strongly denied any move for the sale of its India unit.

However, a statement from Ola indicated that rather than a merger the company would look at acquisitions to consolidate its position.

"Ola is one of the most profitable ride-hailing companies in the world with a strong balance sheet. We are the market leader in India and are much bigger than other players. Hence, merger of any kind is completely out of the equation. We believe that India has a lot more opportunities to unlock when it comes to mobility services. As a strong vertically integrated mobility services. As a strong vertically integrated mobility company we will further consolidate our position by any acquisition in the Indian market, if at all."

The ET report said Ola did not respond to a query that sought to verify the talks or Aggarwal’s meeting with Uber executives.

“We are not, nor have we been, in merger talks with Ola," an Uber spokesperson told ET after the report was published.

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