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Uber Technologies Inc and its Indian rival Ola on Friday denied a media report that the ride-hailing firms were in talks for a merger. An Economic Times report said that Ola Chief Executive Bhavish Aggarwal had met top Uber executives in San Francisco, United States, citing two sources.

"That report is inaccurate. We are not, nor have we been, in merger talks with Ola," Uber said in a statement.

Ola's Aggarwal tweeted, "Absolute rubbish. We're very profitable and growing well. If some other companies want to exit their business from India they are welcome to! We will never merge."

A spokesperson of Ola in a statement said: "Ola is one of the most profitable ride hailing companies in the world with a strong balance sheet. We are the market leader in India and are much bigger than other player. Hence, merger of any kind is completely out of the equation. We believe that India has a lot more opportunity to unlock when it comes to mobility services. As a strong vertically integrated mobility company we will further consolidate our position by any acquisition in the Indian market, if at all." 

The two companies have been slugging it out in an intensely competitive Indian market and have spent billions in incentives and discounts to passengers.

Uber sold its local food delivery business Uber Eats to Zomato Ltd in January 2020, while Ola shut down its grocery delivery business and has of late invested billions of dollars in its electric vehicle venture, Ola Electric Mobility .

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