What's the news: The Competition Commission of India (CCI) on September 9 issued an advisory to cab aggregators (CAs) like Ola and Uber recommending that they adopt self-regulatory measures to address issues like surge pricing and lack of transparency. The advisory is the result of the observations made in CCI's market study on the cab aggregators market in India. Why does this matter: The lack of transparency in how ride-hailing platforms calculate fares especially surge pricing, among various other issues, has been a frequent complaint by consumers and drivers and has been under the lens of the government for a while now. In May this year, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs (MCA) warned cab aggregators of strict action if they did not improve their policies. While a self-regulatory mechanism might not address all the concerns, it might be the first step in that direction. What issues should the self-regulatory mechanisms cover: "While any anti-competitive conduct of CAs may attract enforcement action, the CAs are advised to adopt self-regulatory measures to address information asymmetry and transparency concerns," CCI note while suggesting the following: Fare calculation: Cab aggregators must clearly disclose on the app (for both consumers and drivers) a general description of various components of total fare and a break up of the total so as to appropriately reflect the surge component. This suggestion could be because there have been repeated complaints about the lack of information on the algorithm used by the company to charge different fares for the same route from two individuals. Surge pricing: Aggregators…
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