Underpaid New York drivers

By retaining commissions 2.6% beyond the amount specified in the applicable contract, Uber underpaid drivers in New York.  Jim Conigliaro, founder of the Independent Drivers’ Guild, called Uber’s actions “theft.”  Engadget reported that the amount averaged $900 per driver, yielding a total overcharge of more than $40 million.

2015 contract revisions indicate that Uber knew it was wrongly taking commission on gross fares, thereby overcharging drivers, though the company denied that allegation.

Blocked regulators’ investigations by sending bogus data

Through its “Greyball” system, Uber attempted to identify officials investigating its methods, including noting accounts created from within or near regulators’ offices and rides requested from those areas.  When a user was classified as affiliated with a regulator, Uber intentionally denied that user’s requests, declining to send a driver—preventing the regulator from finding drivers and bringing enforcement actions against drivers or Uber.

The US Department of Justice launched a criminal probe into Uber about this practice.

The New York Times reported that at least 50 people inside Uber knew about these tactics, and that the  program was approved by then-General Counsel Salle Yoo.

Litigation by Uber investor Benchmark Capital reported that, as of August 2017, Uber faced Greyball-related regulatory inquiries in Portland, Oregon; subpoenas from US Attorneys in California and New York; various other city and state inquiries; and an inquiry from the European parliament.

In September 2017, Portland finished its investigation, finding that Uber had used Greyball to block 29 ride requests by 16 government officials whose job it was to regulate Uber.

Portland Bureau of Transportation Audit of Greyball including full audit report