Ola Cabs, Uber reportedly in talks of merger, with deal mediated by SoftBank

Uber is reportedly in talks to have its Indian unit merge with its local competitor, Ola Cabs, after their common stakeholder SoftBank sought to consolidate their respective markets in India.

Given India is one of Uber's most important markets, this deal is certainly a landmark one for the company. There are two somewhat contradictory rumors in regards to a merger between the two companies, however.

After Uber sold its Southeast Asia unit to Grab, a local competitor, earlier this week, a source within the company said that it would be the last minority deal it would make, with all future acquisitions seeing Uber as the majority stakeholder.

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi also reiterated Uber's commitment to its India operations while on a trip to the country on Tuesday:

"The great news about our Grab deal is that it allows us to double down to invest aggressively in our core markets - and we consider India very much as core to Uber's success. We'd, of course, look at any deals that can add value to our partners and shareholders, but we believe in controlling our own destiny in India."

A different source close to these developments, on the other hand, suggested that despite the information gleaned above, Uber will once again be a minority stakeholder with regards to the deal in India, with Ola Cabs acquiring Uber's India unit.

Ola Cabs currently has the lion's share of the Indian market at 56%, whereas Uber sits at a more modest 40%.

SoftBank, as an investor common to both companies - with a 15% stake in Uber and an estimated 30% stake in Ola - will reportedly be brokering the deal.

Source: Deccan Herald

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