A class action has been lodged in the Victorian Supreme Court against Uber on behalf of thousands of taxi owners. The allegation is that Uber has operated illegally and undermined the livelihood of thousands of legitimate taxi operators. Part of the case involves Uber’s use of their software “Greyball’ which targets riders who violate Uber’s terms; potential law enforcement agents as well as monitoring driver compliance all without the knowledge of the targets.
This class action promises to be unique because of its sheer size. To date over 6,000 persons have signed on to the action. Some participants claim that their taxi business has been ruined.
The outcome could have a significant impact on the way the law interprets the business operation of Uber when compared to the more conventional business model of the traditional taxi industry. There could also be parallels with other industries such as ‘airbnb’ who use a similar business approach (i.e. the use of ‘apps’ to connect clients to services in direct competition with more conventional industries).