Takeaways from the Uber Files investigation
When it launched operations in a new foreign city, Uber burned through millions of dollars in investor capital to entice drivers and riders to its service. While it was previously known that Uber had provided subsidies, the documents show how suddenly the company altered the economics of ride-hailing in cities abroad. In some places, Uber initially paid nearly 90 percent of drivers’ hourly earnings, essentially giving away rides for free, sending taxi drivers into economic despair.
As taxi drivers grew fearful of losing their livelihoods and lashed out, Uber leveraged violence against its drivers in its efforts to win sympathy from regulators and the public. Behind the scenes, Uber provided details to journalists if company officials thought the violence would result in negative attention for the taxi industry, the documents show. Uber would also simultaneously activate its lobbyists, highlighting attacks on drivers to secure meetings with politicians and push for regulatory changes to make its operations legal, the documents show.
In a statement to The Post, an Uber spokeswoman acknowledged past mistakes in the company’s treatment of drivers, especially in the years that Kalanick ran the company. But she said no one, including Kalanick, wanted violence against Uber drivers.
A spokeswoman for Kalanick said, “Mr. Kalanick never suggested that Uber should take advantage of violence at the expense of driver safety. Any accusation that Mr. Kalanick directed, engaged in, or was involved in any of these activities is completely false.”
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