Uber Technologies Inc. is running into more and more roadblocks on its road to the future. News reports around the web indicates that courts and prosecutors are trying to throttle the next generation cab company, which is also dealing with a rape scandal.
Some of the latest Uber legal troubles include:
- The service has been banned in Spain.
- Uber has been declared illegal in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil’s second largest city.
- Uber is only able to operate in France because a court refused to issue a court order banning it in that country.
- In Brussels, Belgium, the mobility minster, Pascal Smet, is planning to file a criminal complaint against Uber because he thinks the service is operating illegally. Smet will also try to get access to Uber’s app blocked in Belgium.
- District attorneys in Los Angeles and San Francisco have sued Uber, alleging that it makes false claims about drivers’ background checks.
- A court in the Netherlands has ruled that Uber must only hire licensed taxi drivers. Interestingly enough, Uber drivers can operate in Holland if they don’t take fares. That sort of defeats the service.
- Uber is apparently operating illegally in Portland, Ore. The city’s transportation bureau is planning to fine the service up to $5,000 every time they catch it operating in Portland.
- Courts in Berlin and Hamburg banned Uber from two of Germany’s largest cities because it had used drivers without taxi licenses.
- Uber has been completely banned in Toronto, Canada’s largest city.
- Uber has shut down completely in Nevada after the state’s transportation authority started seizing Uber drivers’ vehicles.
If that wasn’t bad enough, Uber is facing yet another rape scandal. The city of New Delhi banned Uber after a woman accused one of the service’s drivers of raping her. The city then banned Uber, saying it was operating without a license and is not a recognized radio taxi company.
The Indian incident doesn’t even appear on a list of Uber horror stories created by Daily Beast writer Olivia Nuzzi, who noted that there have been several attacks on passengers by Uber drivers. These included an incident in which a driver tried to choke a female passenger, and at least two incidents in which Uber drivers made racist comments about passengers and physically assaulted them.
There was also at least one alleged rape committed by an Uber driver as early as December 2012. Other incidents Nuzzi uncovered included a Chicago woman who claimed that an Uber driver fondled her and an Uber driver in Washington who got into a high speed chase with a city taxi inspector. That driver had three passengers in the back seat during the chase.
Now for the real insanity. Despite being illegal and being associated with crime, people are still investing in Uber! China’s largest search engine, Baidu, is planning to invest $600 million in Uber, according to Bloomberg, which also notes that might boost Uber’s value to $40 billion!
One has to wonder what exactly they are investing in. How is something that is illegal and fodder for personal injury attorneys supposed to be worth $40 billion? Once again, Mr. Market and equity investors have proven to be completely insane.