Uber is under fire in *five* criminal investigations
Life for Uber hasn’t gotten easier. Bloomberg revealed Monday that the U.S. Justice Department is investigating five cases against the ride-hailing giant, two of which were previously unreported.
In the two previously unknown cases, authorities are looking at whether Uber violated price transparency laws and determining how the company may have stolen documents from Alphabet’s self-driving technology division.
This news comes amid other legal scandals like Uber’s Greyball program. Over the last year, the ride-hailing giant has been scrutinized over its toxic workplace culture and other shady practices that eventually led to the ousting of former CEO and cofounder Travis Kalanick.
Uber declined to comment.
Uber reportedly used software programs to help decide what to pay drivers and charge customers. A tool called Cascade set fares based on mileage, time, and demand. Another tool called Firehose charged passengers a fixed, upfront rate.
These separate systems would pay and charge users differently for reasons that do not meet regulations. Some cities require taxi fares to be calculated on time and distance, and federal law prohibits price discrimination, Bloomberg reported.
As to Alphabet, Uber’s former head of self-driving Anthony Levandowski allegedly had documents from his previous employer Alphabet prior to moving to Uber. Waymo sued Uber in February in part for Levandowski taking confidential files. The Justice Department is now looking into how Uber — not just Levandowski — played a role in stealing those documents, according to Bloomberg.
Amid all this legal controversy, Uber’s longtime Chief Legal Officer Salle Yoo is expected to leave the company soon, The Wall Street Journal previously reported. She is currently helping Uber’s new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi hire her replacement.