After the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) published an investigation detailing how it violated international laws and regulations to gain industry dominance, ride-sharing service Uber issued an apology on Sunday.
There were attempts to lobby the then-US vice-president Joe Biden, the German chancellor Olaf Scholz, and the British politician George Osborne, according to more than 124,000 documents from 40 nations, spanning the years 2013 to 2017. Documents also showed that Uber received lobbying support from French President Emmanuel Macron. To further its business, the company courted numerous billionaires, oligarchs, and media magnates from around the globe.
Uber “broke the law, duped police and regulators, exploited violence against drivers, and secretly lobbied governments across the world,” the ICIJ claimed in the documents.
The majority of the offenses listed in the ICIJ report were committed under Travis Kalanick’s direction as co-founder and then-CEO. In response to the scandal, Jill Hazelbaker, SVP of Marketing and Public Affairs, said that the company has been transformed and is now run by current CEO Dara Khosrowshahi.
The statement began, “There has been no shortage of reporting on Uber’s errors prior to 2017.”
The company had “hired a new CEO [Khosrowshahi] who was tasked with reinventing every aspect of how Uber operates,” according to the statement. Additionally, the business followed the advice of former Attorney General Eric Holder, who was commissioned by Uber to “investigate and overhaul” its operational procedures.
In a statement, Uber claimed that 90 percent of its staff had joined since Khosrowshahi was appointed CEO.
Uber is accused of operating under Kalanick in areas where doing so would require breaking the law and taxi regulations. The business had a “kill switch” that prevented local authorities from seeing any data in the event that their offices were the target of police raids.
Uber is now “one of the largest platforms for work in the world” and “an integral part of everyday life for over 100 million people” as a result of the actions Kalanick took.
In its statement, Uber claimed that it had “moved from a period of confrontation to one of collaboration, demonstrating a willingness to come to the table and find common ground with former opponents, including labor unions and taxi companies.”
Uber also boasted about its investments in clean energy and safety and claimed that it now complies with regulations in 10,000 cities worldwide. However, the business has experienced issues with sexual assault and harassment of its customers, as have many other ride-sharing services.
3,824 instances of severe sexual assault and misconduct by users were described in a recent report. “Ultimately, our platform reflects the world in which we operate,” Uber said in response.
In 2009, Uber was established, and it now operates in 72 nations. The company reported $17.46 billion in sales for 2021.