ACCC grants conditional authorisation to new booking app ihail

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) today granted conditional authorisation to a joint venture between taxi networks and other industry participants, including Cabcharge, to launch and operate a new smartphone taxi booking app called ihail.

Initially, the ACCC refused to grant authorisation to the joint venture, expressing a number of concerns about its effects on competition. It was concerned that the participation of the taxi networks would enable the app to quickly build a large number of drivers, and that customers only had the option of paying through the app with payments processed by Cabcharge. Subsequently, a number of changes to the proposal were put forward, such as ensuring customers have the choice to pay in the taxi as well as through the app, and the ability to choose a preferred taxi network.  The ACCC was satisfied that, with these and other amendments, competition from competing smartphone taxi and ride-sharing booking apps would prevent ihail from unfairly benefiting from their taxi network ownership.

The app will operate initially in major metropolitan centres in Australia and some overseas locations.

Frontier (Australia) regularly advises on issues in the taxi industry and prepared an expert report for the ihail joint venture regarding their revised submission for authorisation.

For more information, please contact Marita O’Keeffe at m.okeeffe@frontier-economics.com or phone +61 3 9620 4488.

Start typing and press Enter to search