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Leaked Uber Documents Reveal Naked Expansion Tactics: Investigation

#Leaked #Uber #Documents #Reveal #Naked #Expansion #Tactics #Investigation

A leaked cache of ridesharing app Uber’s confidential files illustrates unethical and potentially illegal tactics the company is using to fuel its frantic global expansion that began nearly a decade ago, a joint media investigation revealed on Sunday.

Dubbed “the Uber Files,” the investigation, based on 124,000 records and involving dozens of news organizations, found that early in the San Francisco startup’s history, as it attempted to break into new markets, company officials faced violent backlash at times the taxi industry used drivers against the company to gain support, bypassing regulators.

Uber acknowledged “mistakes” in a statement Sunday but blamed previous leadership under former chief executive Travis Kalanick, who was forced to resign in 2017 after he was accused of brutal management practices and multiple episodes of sexual and psychological harassment at the company.

“We have moved from an era of confrontation to one of collaboration and have shown a willingness to come to the table and find common ground with former adversaries, including unions and taxi companies,” it said.

The investigation found the company’s drivers faced violent reprisals, including protests in Paris in 2016 when Uber’s subsidized drivers and discounted fares threatened the taxi industry.

“In some cases, when drivers were attacked, Uber executives quickly swung around to capitalize on it” to seek public and regulatory support to enter new markets, “often without a license to operate as a taxi and taxi operator.” to request rental service,” the Washington Post reported of the media involved in the probe.

Kalanick had called for a counter-protest in Paris and in a text to other officials appeared to imply that violence would help the cause: “Violence guarantees success”.

Kalanick disputes the results. A spokesman said he “never suggested that Uber should exploit violence at the expense of driver safety” and he had “never authorized any action or program that would obstruct justice in any country.”

The investigation also accuses Uber of working to circumvent regulatory investigations by using a technological advantage, the Post wrote, describing a case in which Kalanick implemented a “kill switch” to restrict access from devices in an Amsterdam Office raided to remotely disrupt Uber’s internal systems as regulators.

Another finding, according to the Post, suggested that between 2014 and 2016 Uber had found an ally in France’s then-economy minister Emmanuel Macron, now the country’s president, whom the company believed would encourage regulators to ” to be less “conservative” in its interpretation of rules that restrict the company’s operations.”

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