Uber loses its license to operate


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Uber loses its license to operate in London

London’s transport authority, Transport for London (TfL), says it will not renew Uber’s license to operate in London when it expires at the end of the month. TfL claims Uber’s “approach and conduct demonstrate a lack of corporate responsibility in relation to a number of issues which have potential public safety and security implications.” Uber originally arrived in London five years ago, but rivals like Lyft, Via, and Juno do not operate in the city yet.

TfL cites Uber’s approach to serious criminal offences, medical certificates, disclosure and barring checks, and the company’s use of its Greyball software that TfL says blocks regulatory bodies from gaining full access to Uber’s app for law enforcement duties. Uber has reportedly used Greyball to provide a map of fake cars to users the company thought were regulators. This would prevent them from getting a ride and potentially catching the company violating the law.

Uber now has 21 days to appeal the ruling, but the company will be able to continue to operate in London until any appeals have been completed. “3.5 million Londoners who use our app, and more than 40,000 licensed drivers who rely on Uber to make a living, will be astounded by this decision,” says Tom Elvidge, general manager of Uber in London. “By wanting to ban our app from the capital Transport for London and the Mayor have caved in to a small number of people who want to restrict consumer choice. If this decision stands, it will put more than 40,000 licensed drivers out of work and deprive Londoners of a convenient and affordable form of transport.”

Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, says he fully supports TfL’s decision. “All companies in London must play by the rules and adhere to the high standards we expect — particularly when it comes to the safety of customers,” says Khan. “Providing an innovative service must not be at the expense of customer safety and security.”

scandals and controversy. Former CEO Travis Kalanick stepped down earlier this year, following a number of company issues. Uber’s recent troubles have included widespread allegations of sexual harassment, a video showing Kalanick engaging in an argument with a driver, a lawsuit claiming intellectual property theft from Google’s Waymo self-driving car unit, an executive obtaining the medical records of a woman who was raped by a driver in India, and more. The company fired more than 20 employees as a result of a probe into its work culture.

Former Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi took over the top job at Uber last month. Khosrowshahi called it the “opportunity of a lifetime,” and he now faces yet another major hurdle to fix what is clearly a broken company.
TfL has today informed Uber that it will not be issued with a private hire operator licence.