Uber Agrees to Shell Out $173 Million

(TotalConservative.com) – Uber, the world’s largest rideshare company, agreed to a $178 million settlement in a years-long legal dispute with cars-for-hire and taxi services in Australia which suffered financial losses after the company entered the market.

On Sunday, March 17, Uber settled with more than 8,000 hire car and taxi drivers represented by Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, agreeing to dish out 272 million Australian dollars, amounting to $178 million in US dollars. The lawsuit against the company was supposed to go to trial the following day, on Monday, March 18, but the law firm dropped it immediately after an agreement was reached.

The lawsuit against Uber was filed by Maurice Blackburn Lawyers in the Supreme Court of Victoria in 2019 as a class action lawsuit on behalf of over 8,000 hire car and taxi drivers. According to the firm, the rideshare giant “fought tooth and nail at every point” over five years before the settlement was finally reached.

Michael Donnely, the law firm’s principal lawyer, said that car owners and drivers endured heavy financial losses when Uber aggressively muscled their way into the Australian market in 2012, arguing the rideshare company spent years trying to avoid paying them compensation. After the agreement, Donnely told reporters from the steps of the courtroom that after “refusing to do the right thing” for many years, Uber agreed to pay the drivers. He described the years-long battle as a “stare down” between “thousands of everyday Australians” and a “global giant,” which Donnely said has finally “blinked.”

A statement from Uber about the settlement called the complaints by the taxi industry “legacy issues.” It claimed that regulations on rideshare companies were nonexistent over a decade ago when the company began. The statement also said that the “point-to-point transport industry” of Australia has grown since then, resulting in “greater choice” for Australians, “improved experiences for customers,” and new jobs “for hundreds of thousands” of workers.

The rideshare giant claimed to have “made significant contributions” since 2018 toward “various state-level” schemes to compensate the taxi industry, adding that the settlement will now put those “legacy issues firmly in [the company’s] past.”

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