According to the report, Uber did not care about the laws to expand its business and used various tactics to mislead the authorities.
Uber Files: Today Uber is the world’s largest taxi service provider. Within a decade, it has spread its business to 72 countries including India and has become a $ 44 billion company. After all, on the basis of its investigation, the English newspaper The Indian Express has made many sensational revelations about how Uber has increased its business in such a short time. According to the report of The Indian Express, Uber used many unethical means to rapidly increase its business in markets around the world.
The Indian Express conducted this investigation in collaboration with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, a non-profit network of investigative journalists. During this investigation, many internal files, emails, invoices and other documents of Uber were scrutinized. It revealed how Uber broke laws to expand its business, used violence against drivers to its advantage, and misled government regulatory bodies and their officials. These internal documents related to Uber were first found by the British newspaper The Guardian, which shared them with a group of investigative journalists.
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How Uber grew its business
According to the report, Uber lobbied political figures to relax labor and taxi laws, used stealth technology to thwart regulatory and legal scrutiny. What’s more, the company sent funds from Bermuda and other tax havens and used incidents of violence against its drivers to garner public sympathy.
According to the report, Uber, founded in 2009, offered cheap transport through ride-sharing apps, bypassing taxi regulations. Uber adopted an extraordinary strategy to establish itself in nearly 30 countries. Lobbying for the company included many senior politicians, including former aides of US President Barack Obama. They also pressured government officials to influence investigations, change labor and taxi laws, and relax rules for checking drivers, according to documents.
Use of ‘stealth’ technology to stop investigation
The investigation found that Uber used fact-hiding ‘stealth’ technology to thwart government investigations. For example, the company used a ‘kill switch’ that prevented officials from accessing Uber servers when tax officials were raided or during any other regulatory scrutiny. In this way officials were prevented from obtaining evidence during raids in at least six countries. According to information found in Uber Files, during a police raid in Amsterdam, former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick personally issued an order saying, “Please hit the kill switch as soon as possible… AMS (Amsterdam)”. Access must be turned off.
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used violence to his advantage
The report also suggested that Kalanick used violence against Uber drivers in France to garner sympathy. He sent the message to colleagues, “Violence is a guarantee of success.” However, Kalanick’s spokesman Devon Spurgeon responded by saying that the former CEO “never suggested that Uber should suffer violence at the expense of driver’s safety.” Based on information obtained from Uber Files, the report claims that Uber also evaded millions of dollars in tax by sending its profits through Bermuda and other tax havens.
(Input – The Indian Express, AP)