In Uber’s fast expansion, big legal headaches

December 11, 2014

On Monday, Portland, Oregon, brought a lawsuit against the app-based ride hailing service Uber for operating without the consent of the city. But this wasn’t Uber’s biggest domestic legal headache in a week in which the company was sued by two California district attorneys for misleading customers about background checks, a driver in Chicago was investigated for rape, and  a former driver was charged with vehicular manslaughter in the death of a 6-year-old girl in San Francisco.

After its most recent funding round Uber is valued at $40 billion and seen by investors and fans as an innovative exemplar of the sharing economy. Its detractors, however, point to misleading and cutthroat business practices, and safety concerns about its drivers. In a  statement, Portland said, “The city’s lawsuit is asking for a declaration by the court that Uber is subject to the city’s regulations. The lawsuit also asks the court to order Uber to stop operating in Portland until it is in compliance with the city’s safety, health and consumer protection rules.”

As this Reuters map shows, Uber’s reach spans the globe, but not without legal challenges. The service has been banned or is facing a ban in India, the Netherlands, Spain and Thailand, as well as a number of U.S. jurisdictions. After an allegation of rape against an Uber driver in Delhi, the outrage was such that India has banned all unregistered Web-based taxi companies.

At a dinner party last month Emil Michael, Uber’s Senior Vice President of Business, mused about spending $1 million to dig up dirt against PandoDaily journalist Sarah Lacy, who has been especially critical of Uber’s culture and practices. Outrage ensued, with many users uninstalling the app and urging others to do the sameVoltaire famously wrote that “with great power comes great responsibility,” but in continuing to dodge laws and rules, Uber seems intent on skirting responsibility in order to achieve power. Time will show us how the courts of law and public opinion will view this.

UberMap121114-620

2 comments

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coming from a taxi fleet owner these illegal ride sharing apps are not putting us out of business, nor are they having any affect with local cab companies here in ocean county.  we believe legislation has looked into the issues and have considered options for uber and lyft.  personally i like competition its one of the reasons ive been so successfull over the years.  for all of you who are not aware of what taxi and limo companies have to do to comply with regualtions i’ll break it down

apply for owner license from municipality $25-200 depending on town
hack license for driver only $15-350 depending on town
insurance whether it be 100k 300k or 1.5 million liability makes the average taxi/livery vehicle insurance premium cost $4200-7600 PER VEHICLE depending on the liability requirements mandated by town.

lastly daily operating costs-repairs,fuel,radio lease/dispatch

so if you can see why cab owners are a little angry thats why!!

Exclusive Taxi and car service toms river nj (owner)

Posted by taxiking22 | Report as abusive

Anything that increases the amount of anarchy, the number of scofflaws on our streets, needs to be removed. Uber needs to be exposed for the organized crime connections, especially those in the “hospitality industry,” the money laundering abilities of the application, and the fostering of anarchy. If taxis need to be regulated then so do the criminals that work for and with Uber. No lies people, it isn’t cheaper.

Posted by SixthRomeo | Report as abusive