The saga of the global technology company, UBER is a study in government regulation and crony capitalism.
The New York Times is reporting that Travis Kalanick, CEO of UBER, is changing his tone. Kalanick is going from hard charging, take no prisoners, to Mr. Charm, all in an effort to curry better relations with governments (and government regulators) over seas.
Here is the most telling sentence in the article:
“And to reach those targets, the company will almost certainly need better relations with governments around the world.”
Not better relations with customers. Not better prices. Not better service. Nope, better relations with governments, who are busy protecting the market share of already established players.
Below is a partial list of some of the legal woes UBER is experiencing:
Uber, which is now valued at roughly $40 billion, has faced series of legal problems around the world, including widespread protests from taxi associations and accusations that the company does not meet national transportation rules.
IN THE UNITED STATES
OREGON DEC. 18, 2014
The company agreed to temporarily suspend its operations after the city of Portland accused the company of operating an “illegal, unregulated transportation service.”
CALIFORNIA DEC. 9, 2014
Two California district attorneys filed a civil suit Tuesday against Uber, charging that the company misled consumers about the methods it uses to screen its drivers.
SOUTH CAROLINA JAN. 15, 2015
The Public Service Commission of South Carolina orders Uber to cease and desist all operations within the state.
IN OTHER COUNTRIES
SPAIN DEC. 30, 2014
The company suspended its service after a judge ruled earlier in the month that UberPop, the company’s low-cost service, did not comply with Spanish laws and potentially amounted to unfair competition for taxi drivers.
SOUTH KOREA DEC. 24, 2014
Authorities indicted Travis Kalanick, Uber’s chief executive, in connection with licensing laws that forbid rental car companies from operating taxi services.
INDIA JAN. 29, 2015
A woman who says she was sexually assaulted by an Uber driver last month in New Delhi filed a lawsuit against the company, seeking damages and overhauled safety measures.
NETHERLANDS DEC. 8, 2014
A Dutch court banned Uber’s low-cost UberPop service from operating in the Netherlands.
THAILAND DEC. 8, 2014
The head of Thailand’s Department of Land Transport ordered Uber to cease operating in the country.
GERMANY SEPT. 3, 2014
A state court issued the first nationwide ban on an Uber service. The ban was lifted in mid-September.
Once again, notice that the interests of the consumer are nowhere to be found.
UBER is an example of the free market at work, at least when it is allowed to work