Today the world learned about the latest front in Uber’s regulatory war. District attorneys for San Francisco and Los Angeles counties jointly announced that they were filing a lawsuit against the mobile-enabled alternative cab company.
This time, the issue regards statements Uber has made about its background checks, which the district attorneys are describing as inaccurate or misleading, according to a statement. What’s more, Uber is coming under criticism for charging customers $4 for an “airport fee toll” when they go to and leave the San Francisco International Airport, despite the fact that their drivers were not passing the money on to the airport, which the city and county of San Francisco operate.
“Californians and California lawmakers all agree — Uber is an integral, safe, and established part of the transportation ecosystem in the Golden State,” an Uber spokeswoman told VentureBeat in an email. “Uber has met with the District Attorneys to address their concerns regarding airport operations, the uberPOOL product, background checks, and operation of the app. We will continue to engage in discussions with the District Attorneys.”
Lyft, one of Uber’s top competitors, was also being challenged by the two district attorneys, but it has since settled. But Uber has started operating in more cities and has therefore opened itself up for regulatory battles to a greater extent than similar but smaller companies. It’s a good thing Uber has money to pay for legal services. It’s now reportedly raising $1 billion in convertible debt, not long after securing a $1.2 billion funding round.
Here’s a list of the geographies where Uber has found itself running up against scrutiny, including today’s developments:
- An attempted ban in the German city of Berlin
- A civil complaint over false or misleading statements in San Francisco and Los Angeles counties in California
- A ban in Delhi, India
- Charges over advertising and promotion of the uberPOP ride-sharing service in France
- A court ruling in the Netherlands against Uber’s use of drivers who lack taxi licenses
- Cease and desist order from the city of Portland, Ore.
- Concerns about UberX and UberBLACK services in Seoul, South Korea, although UberTAXI is reportedly functioning in that city
- A ban in Spain
- An attempted ban in Thailand
- Consideration of a ban in Vietnam
Uber chief executive Travis Kalanick has said he wants Uber to become a “more humble company.” It’s unclear if all these obstacles will help or hurt Uber in that campaign.
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