It’s no secret that Uber is a bit of a jerk.
A few years ago, it was banned from most major cities in the US, and now it’s banned from more than half of them.
Uber is now facing a class action lawsuit over the issue.
But for now, that’s not all Uber is facing.
The ride-hailing giant is also facing an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission, which is looking into whether it’s abusing its market power.
So how did Uber become a victim of antitrust laws?
What’s Uber’s deal with regulators?
Here are some of the big takeaways.
A class action complaint is pending The FTC’s complaint against Uber is being brought by the Institute for Justice, a liberal law firm, which alleges that Uber “violated antitrust laws” by charging too much for its own ridesharing service.
Uber’s ridesharer fares are regulated by state and local governments, which must ensure that companies with the ability to charge are not allowed to “diverge from the public interest” in order to survive, the FTC claims.
Uber also says that the company’s “fees for providing rides to its drivers” are too high, because drivers are paid less than drivers in other services like taxis.
So Uber can charge more, because it’s so much easier to charge than other companies.
Uber has argued that its fees are actually lower than taxis because its drivers are more flexible, and because they have to pay Uber’s own fares.
The FTC, however, disagrees.
“The FTC is examining Uber’s claim that its ridesharers’ fares are too low because the fees charged by its own drivers are lower than those charged by other rideshares, and we believe Uber’s claims about the cost difference are false,” the FTC says.
The Uber deal The FTC alleges that the terms of Uber’s $1 billion ride-sharing agreement with the city of Austin were a “clear violation” of antitrust law, and that the “federal government has effectively imposed a monopoly.”
The FTC says that Uber’s agreement with Austin is “inherently unfair,” and that “Uber’s unfairness in this transaction is apparent because it fails to offer riders a choice between using the company-operated UberEATS and other ride-share services.”
The settlement also requires Uber to “provide drivers with an equal opportunity to compete on equal terms.”
Uber can be held accountable for its actions if it violates antitrust laws again The FTC is also looking into “whether Uber violated antitrust laws by charging drivers less than competitors in similar industries.”
Uber’s alleged “unfairness” is evident because it does not offer a “common platform” for its rideshare business.
UberEats is essentially Uber’s way of providing a “public good” by providing free transportation for users to other users in exchange for their patronage.
That is, Uber has created a system where it provides free transportation, but drivers are compensated by a “toll” to ride.
Uber says that its “fares for providing trips to its riders are lower because it charges less for providing those trips.”
So the fact that it charges more than other rideshare services in exchange isn’t necessarily illegal.
Uber could be held responsible if it does so again, though, and it’s possible that it could face fines for violating antitrust laws in the future.
Uber will not be allowed to undercut rivals In the case of the Austin settlement, Uber was allowed to continue operating under its “competitive” name, UberEAT.
But Uber has since dropped the name in an attempt to improve its relationship with Austin.
Uber claims that the name is a “misleading identifier” that has been “used by competitors to market their services to consumers.”
The company is also now prohibited from offering “advertising services or products that promote or promote the use of UberEATES,” because it is “likely to confuse consumers and cause confusion.”
Uber and Lyft can sue each other again In a class-action lawsuit, Uber and its partners have accused Lyft of “unlawfully influencing UberEATER drivers to charge more for their rides.”
The lawsuit alleges that Lyft “has used deceptive tactics to influence drivers in the UberEATING marketplace to charge drivers more than UberEATHAT drivers.”
Lyft claims that UberEaters’ “customer base is small, so they may not be able to compete with UberEATOR drivers.”
Uber drivers can sue their own employer Uber’s driver-employer deal with its employees is also on the table.
Uber said that it had agreed to a deal with “the largest U.S. Uber driver-union.”
But that deal, which will only cover drivers who work for UberEATA drivers, is currently suspended, meaning that Uber drivers will be able bring lawsuits against their own employers, which are now forbidden to interfere with a company’s market power in a way that harms competition.
The drivers could lose their jobs Uber and other Uber drivers