Ola-Uber India merging? Here’s what the companies have to say

"Absolute rubbish, will never merge," says Ola CEO.

Highlights
  • Ola and Uber India have denied reports of a merger of the companies.
  • Ola’s CEO clarified the company is “profitable and growing well” and is not looking for a merger.
  • Uber too declined the reports and affirmed its commitment to the Indian cab market.

Recent reports had indicated that popular cab aggregators Ola and Uber India are in talks for a merger. The latest report by ET even went on to say that Ola CEO, Bhavish Aggarwal had met Uber executives in San Francisco. However, Bhavish, in a strongly worded tweet, has declined the reports and clarified there’s no truth behind them. The senior executive said the reports are “absolute rubbish” and indicated that Ola is “profitable and growing”.

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In the same tweet, the executive also took a dig at Uber, although he didn’t taken the name explicitly. “If some other companies want to exit their business from India they are welcome to. We will never merge.”

Uber Ola

Ola and Uber merger reports

Following reports of the Ola and Uber merger, the former’s CEO has declined them and said they are not true. The executive even clarified that Ola is a profitable company and is not looking for any merger.

India Today Tech reached out to the Uber team to confirm whether the reports about the Ola-Uber merger were accurate. The company also declined the reports and affirmed its commitment to the Indian cab market by referring to Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi’s old tweet.

The Uber spokesperson has also denied the latest report from ET and the response is in line with Bhavish’s tweet. The spokesperson said, “We are not, nor have been, in merger talks with Ola.” When asked whether Uber is planning to exit India, the company’s spokesperson referred to Uber CEO Khosrowshahi’s old tweet that was posted in reply to an old Bloomberg report that said Uber is looking to sell its Indian arm.

The tweet reads, “Amazing that they [Bloomberg] ran this story – there is zero truth to this story – wasn’t explored, wasn’t considered, discussions didn’t happen, at any level – and we told Bloomberg as such. Total clickbait (or sub-bait in this case).”

The Bloomberg report from June 2022 said that both Ola and Uber are struggling to “eke out” a profit in a rapidly growing but price-sensitive market like India. It suggested that US-based cab aggregators might exit the market, but might keep the stake in the dominant local player to tap the future growth. This is considering Uber made similar deals in China with Didi Global and Southeast Asia with Grab Holdings.