The Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine (AMCU) is investigating the formation of prices in the transportation market due to a sharp price rise for the services of the main players in the taxi market on the first day of lockdown, Head of the Northern Territorial Branch of the AMCU Oleksiy Khmelnytsky said on his Facebook page on Wednesday.
He said that on the first day of lockdown, the prices for taxi services of the three largest organizers of transportation via mobile applications simultaneously increased by 3-4 times, which is unacceptable.
"Already in the evening of April 6, taxi prices fell noticeably. It should be noted that the demand did not decrease [there were no less trips, the demand was constant] and lockdown was not canceled. This is the reaction of these companies to the indignation of Kyiv residents, the media and the AMCU's reaction. I am convinced that companies can adjust prices on their own, not only automatically, given the critical situation with COVID-19 in Kyiv. Could there be any signs of violation of competition laws [on coordination of actions]? In my opinion, yes," Khmelnytsky said.
He also said that the AMCU should definitely respond to a large number of appeals from Kyiv residents.
"We cannot ignore citizens' appeals; that is why we launched our probe. This is the law [...] In fact; the situation on the transport market [whatever you call it, for people it is taxi services] has not been studied by anyone. That is why we started the study. We will draw conclusions based on its findings," he said.
At the same time, Khmelnytsky noted that the AMCU perfectly understands all the specifics of the work of programs and applications, which are rather difficult to control.
According to him, if, based on the findings of the study, the AMCU does not receive evidence of anticompetitive concerted actions of the largest market players, the committee will definitely inform about it.
"If we get evidence of a violation of competition legislation, we will open a case, make a decision and fine the violators. If it turns out that the legislation and rules do not correspond to modern technologies, we will turn to legislators with a proposal," the head of the AMCU Northern Territorial Branch said.
As reported, on April 5, taking into account the imposition of strict quarantine, prices for taxi services, in particular in Kyiv, increased several times.
Bolt taxi ordering service (formerly Taxify) has decided to forcefully adjust the coefficient that affects the increase in cost during the period of increased demand.
Taxi ordering services Uklon and Uber told Interfax-Ukraine that their pricing systems depend on many factors, automatically taking into account the situation on the roads, weather conditions, demand and others.