Continued operation when ordered to cease

In multiple cities, Uber continued operation despite duly-empowered regulators ordering it to cease.

For example, in litigation, the City of San Francisco and City of Los Angeles reported a 2010 incident in which the San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency noted that Uber’s system for “measure[ing] time and distance” had not been submitted to appropriate regulators for testing and approval, contrary to applicable law.  Four years later, Uber had still not done so and, the cities alleged, was in violation of the law each time it used its unapproved technology.

More details coming soon.

Untrue or misleading representations about safety measures

In litigation, the City of San Francisco and City of Los Angeles alleged that Uber falsely claimed to offer the “safest ride on the road” with the “strictest safety standards possible,” which, the cities argued, was “likely to mislead consumers into believing Uber does everything it can to ensure their safety” when in fact better methods were available.

The cities further alleged that Uber’s claim to be “doing everything we can to make Uber the safest experience on the road” was inconsistent with the company’s lobbying against certain safety requirements then being discussed in the California legislature.

The People Of The State Of California v. Uber Technologies Inc A Delaware Corporation Et Al – litigation docket

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