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Uber Accused Of ‘Illegal Operations’ In Australia, Class Action Lawsuit Filed

Uber Accused Of ‘Illegal Operations’ In Australia, Class Action Lawsuit Filed
Citing allegations of conducting their business in an illegal manner in Australia which is resulting in financial damage to the local taxi industry workers and operators, a class action lawsuit has been filed in the country against the United States based ride hailing company Uber Technologies.
The plaintiff in the case, representing thousands of taxi and chartered drivers in Australia, are seeking compensation against damages which would be quite large in the law suit that has been filed at the Victoria Supreme Court by law firm Maurice Blackburn.
This legal case has been filed by it on behalf of 6,000 drivers and taxi license owners across all Australian states, said the law firm, while placing allegation against US company of conducting its business in Australia in an illegal manner which is causing harm to the law-abiding local drivers and operators.
Since Uber follows “a policy to operate in any market where the regulator had tacitly approved doing so by failing to take direct enforcement action”, therefore it can be concluded that the ride hailing company is conducting its business operations in an illegal manner with knowledge, argued the lawsuit.
The law suit was termed to be a “landmark case” that would help in restraining the illegal operations of Uber in Australia, by Andrew Watson, Maurice Blackburn national head of Class Actions. A devastating impact on the lives of law-abiding citizens has been inflicted in the country by the illegal actions and operations of Uber, he said.
However the amount of money in damages that its seeks has not been revealed by the law firm. It however has also said that it would be “hundreds of millions of dollars.”
An unfair advantage over local taxi drivers and industry players was being drawn by Uber in Australia, the lawsuit had also charged. “Uber sells the idea that it does things differently, but in reality and as we allege, this has meant operating unlawfully, using devious programs like Greyball,” said, Maurice Blackburn lawyer Elizabeth O'Shea.
A new report that was published in 2017 in The New York Times claimed that a software named Greyball is used by Uber which helps the company to prevent regulators and law enforcement agencies from accessing its app. The report had further claimed that the software was being used by the company in a number of countries that included Australia, China, and South Korea.
However allegations that the software was used to prevent regulators from accessing its app have been refuted by Uber. Rather, protection of its drivers was the aim of the software, Uber had said. However, following increased media scrutiny on the issue, the use of the software Greyball was stopped by Uber.
Filing of class action lawsuit against it was denied by a spokeswoman of Uber who added that allegations that it was conducting business illegally in Australia had no basis. “Uber denies this allegation and, if a claim is served to make it, the claim will be vigorously defended,” she said in a statement.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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