back to article Uber Australia to pay $178M to settle cabbies' class action

Uber's Australian wheel has agreed to pay AU$272 million ($178 million) to settle a class action brought by cab drivers who claimed their incomes were impacted by the rideshare giant's scofflaw debut down under. The class action, Andrianakis v Uber Technologies Inc & Ors, was brought by a class of plaintiffs who were taxicab …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Uber debuted, increased supply of rudes"

    What rudes did they supply, apart from sticking 2 fingers up at the law?

    1. Korev Silver badge
      Alien

      I was wondering if a rude was a word in Australianish...

  2. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

    ridesharing regulations did not exist anywhere in the world

    What's that got to do with the case? Uber are a taxi company, so why are they talking about rideshare?

    Oh, you mean Uber are claiming they're a rideshare company not a taxi company? Good job in the UK we have the "duck test".

    1. collinsl Bronze badge

      So should Aus, their legal system is quite similar to ours.

    2. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

      In Australia a taxi license plate costs upwards of $250k, what i want to know is why Uber dont have to pay this for each and every sub-contractor they hire when everone else has too.

      1. Benegesserict Cumbersomberbatch Silver badge

        The $250k valuation was what taxi licenses were rumoured to change hands for between investors prior to the intervention of Uber and the like.

        It was actually an investment strategy for some, buying some of the finite supply of taxi licenses, usually from state governments at about $20k a pop, and hiring drivers to do the actual work - at pay rates not much better than what Uber delivers to their drivers now. In some cases, they were people's life savings and job security rolled into one.

        The class action was to settle the perceived destruction of value those investors and owner/operators suffered.

        What's interesting is that Uber has chosen to settle rather than have the internal office discussions of the illegality of their strategy to pry their way into a regulated market aired in open court. At one point they were paying fines of nearly $2k for any driver who scored a ticket from an inspector; they were running "ghost cars" in the neighbourhood of the taxi inspectorate so that the inspectors who were trying to catch them at their illegality would never find a real Uber car, and they were blacklisting / ghosting devices if they suspected they had been used to prove Uber was operating illegally.

        Now they claim their local operations don't make a profit, so they don't pay tax. Funny how well those Irish / Dutch / BVI subsidiaries are doing, though.

        1. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

          Im not defending the old plate system nor am i disputing what youhave summarised. Im simply stating that out of that system and Uber, the old system was actually beter for everyone. Cabbies paid tax, they were better regulated than Uber and passengers were also safer.

  3. Sceptic Tank Silver badge
    Go

    Making own drinkig water unclean.

    If you are a driver for Über and you decide to sue them, don't you risk seeing your monetising opportunities being decimated? As in: you see a potential client standing in the street 100m away from you but another Uber from 5 km away arrives to pick him up because you did not get a notification for inadequately explained reasons.

  4. trevorde Silver badge

    A fool and his money

    How are Uber still going? It's made a profit just recently but nothing to offset the massive losses.

    1. ChrisElvidge Bronze badge

      Uber not going

      Uber not going in Minneapolis

      https://soylentnews.org/article.pl?sid=24/03/17/1841241

      https://www.engadget.com/uber-and-lyft-are-quitting-minneapolis-over-a-driver-pay-increase-180041427.html

  5. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
    Coat

    AU$272 million ($178 million)

    Thanks for telling us the fine is $272m in Oz dollars, but what countries $ is the 178m in? Is it the Canadian or Fujian dollar?

  6. druck Silver badge

    Uber debuted, increased the supply of rides, cut prices, and won substantial market share at the expense of drivers and license owners who soon endured a massive dose of digital disruption.

    They also increased the supply of unsafe vehicles carrying paying passengers, increased the number of unvetted drivers, and increased the number of rapes and murders.

    But that's OK, because if you weren't raped or murdered, you saved a few quid.

    1. Bebu Silver badge
      Windows

      《They also increased the supply of unsafe vehicles carrying paying passengers, increased the number of unvetted drivers, and increased the number of rapes and murders.

      But that's OK, because if you weren't raped or murdered, you saved a few quid.》

      A fair bit of truth in that.

      Personally stuck with taxis, when bus or train services weren't suitable, simply because the whole Uberattitude was abnoxious and still is.

      To be fair the whole taxi industry (in every state) was a racket that the Mafia would have been proud. :) Every party from the state governments, cab license owners, the cabcharge monopoly, down to the drivers were extracting their bit of graft ultimately from the hirer's pocket.

      The disruption caused by the Uberarseholes has fixed a lot of these problems and its now time for them to sod off back to septica (or wherever.)

      From my jaundiced viewpoint - the whole gig economy nonsense is fundamentally the unalloyed exploitation that reformers in civilized states tried to eliminate during the late C19th and early C20th - so the whole uber-gig monstrosity can bugger off back to the looney tunes lands where C19th laissez-faire captalism still rules.

      Only the non-banning of e-cigarettes (vapes) at the time of their introduction (I think about the time of the advent of Uber) riles me more.

      1. Ian Johnston Silver badge

        From my jaundiced viewpoint - the whole gig economy nonsense is fundamentally the unalloyed exploitation that reformers in civilized states tried to eliminate during the late C19th and early C20th - so the whole uber-gig monstrosity can bugger off back to the looney tunes lands where C19th laissez-faire captalism still rules.

        The gig economy seems to be very popular with those who see no pressing need to pay any form of tax on their earnings.

      2. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

        So what if the taxi industry is a racket , its far better than the alternatives...aka Uber.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I always think of Uber as "rape cabs".

      Edinburgh - where I spend a fair bit of time - is now completely overrun with cars bearing "Private Hires Only" stickers on the doors. The evidence suggests that very few of the drivers of them hold a licence of any sort, or see road signs and traffic lights as, at best, vague suggestions. Black cabs are now almost non-existent.

  7. Tron Silver badge

    Is history repeating itself?

    When telephony took over from telegraphy, did the telegraphy companies get a massive pay out because something better came along?

    1. ldo

      Re: Is history repeating itself?

      No, because they were the same companies.

      E.g. “AT&T” — one T stood for “Telephone”, the other for “Telegraph”.

      Maybe a lesson from history in that.

      1. katrinab Silver badge

        Re: Is history repeating itself?

        The Western Union Telegraph Company switched to doing money transfers. I think their former telegraph division is now part of Verizon, but I haven’t followed the full corporate food chain.

  8. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

    I never understood how Uber were allowed to be taxis without buying a taxi license like everybody else.

    Uber executives should be in jail and charged for each every uber driver they "contracted".

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