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Uber’s Trojan Horse

Nov 29, 2023 | News

It gives me no pleasure to say to the Allan government, “I told you so,” but I told you so!
Will Wednesday, the 29th of November 2023, go down as the beginning of the end of competition in the taxi space in Victoria? We have seen time and time again seen Uber’s ability to spend billions of dollars for years on end to achieve market dominance. Previous fears here in Victoria were if one of the top 3 taxi companies removed themselves or commercially failed, we would have a duopoly of 13Cabs and Uber, and no other company would be able to compete. The fear now will be Uber dominating both the taxi and rideshare space.
Let’s also get rid of the pretence that Ubers business model was anything but a taxi business. They are nothing more than a taxi business from San Francisco and should be treated that way.
I could imagine this will raise red flags under competition law when Uber becomes the dominate player in the taxi space, and this would be a serious challenge for the Allan government. This is all of their own making. I suspect the taxi drivers who have sold out would mainly be independents. They didn’t want to be affiliated with a network but still want to be fed work. I caution them how Uber treat those who work for them. If you belong to a network why would you pay depot fees and then pay 25% to Uber when doing a trip, paying twice, dumb!
Customers, how long before Uber surges their taxi fares because in Victoria they can on all bookings via an app, as they will claim it was pre-booked? How is this impacting the costs on the MPTP? Uber has pulled the governments pants down!
Uber, with all its might, huffed and puffed but could not blow down the taxi industry. This is an admission that their rideshare business model has failed to achieve market dominance, so now they will enter the traditional taxi business and achieve dominance from within! If anything they are patient!
Uber rideshare drivers must be scratching their heads. What does this mean for them? What will Uber’s priority be? Uber going into competition with them? Will they run a cheaper surge price against their own ride share drivers? Classic! Will Uber drivers now be looking for more safe and secure work in the new year?
Victoria has the weakest regulatory framework and the weakest enforcement regime for the commercial passenger vehicle industry in the country. Other states’ industry bodies use Victoria as an example to their governments of what NOT to do. You would have to question investing in this space in Victoria.
Uber has the potential to undermine competition with their size and financial depth. There is a legislative fix, but history tells us when it comes to Uber, the Victorian government folds like a cheap IKEA deck chair!

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