F.B.I. Investigates Uber Software Used to Monitor Lyft Drivers


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SAN FRANCISCO — The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States attorney’s office in New York are looking into whether Uber used tactics and software to illegally interfere with Lyft, its largest American competitor.

The investigation is focused on Uber’s use of a special program internally called “Hell,” said people with knowledge of the proceedings, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly. Uber had used the program to gain an edge over Lyft in markets where both companies operated, these people said.
The “Hell” program was essentially a competitive intelligence initiative created by Uber to challenge Lyft for drivers and riders. According to the people familiar with the investigation, Uber employees used the program to monitor drivers who worked for both services. Uber would then use financial incentives to persuade drivers to work for Uber more frequently instead of Lyft.

The existence of the “Hell” program was uncovered this year by a technology news site, The Information, which said Uber ended the effort in 2016.


Strange Fruit

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Monitoring Americans' private activities is the FBI's turf dammit. They will not suffer wannabes in their field.