US court allows lawsuit against Uber claiming it stifled competition

The Uber Technologies Inc. application is displayed in the App Store on an Apple Inc. iPhone in an arranged photograph taken in Arlington, Virginia, U.S. on Monday, April 29, 2019. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Uber Technologies Inc was ordered by a U.S. judge on Friday to face a lawsuit claiming its illegal predatory pricing and other anticompetitive practices stifled competition, and drove rival Sidecar Technologies Inc out of business.

Chief Magistrate Judge Joseph Spero of the federal court in San Francisco said SC Innovations, the successor to Sidecar, could try to prove that Uber tried to monopolize the ride-sharing business, by crowding out smaller rivals including Lyft Inc or making it harder for them to compete.

A spokeswoman for San Francisco-based Uber declined to comment. Spero had dismissed an earlier version of the lawsuit on Jan. 21.

Sidecar launched a ride-hailing service in 2012, and offered the first app to show passengers prices before booking rides, and to match passengers for car pooling.

The company, which was also based in San Francisco, shut down in December 2015, and sold its assets to General Motors Co the following year.

According to the complaint, Uber initially offered above-market incentives to drivers and low fares to passengers to amass market share, and then cut driver payments and raised fares, including through “surge” and “dynamic” pricing, to recoup its losses after cementing its dominance.

Uber was also accused of having secretly booked and then canceled rides on competitors’ apps, under programs known as “Project Hell” and “SLOG,” to induce frustrated drivers and passengers to work with the company.

“At this stage, the court finds Sidecar’s allegations of market power to be sufficiently plausible to avoid dismissal,” Spero wrote.

The case is SC Innovations Inc v Uber Technologies Inc et al, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, No. 18-07440.

Reuters

Singapore Reporter/s

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Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.