- The driving service provider Uber is said to have gained advantages through a widespread lobby network.
- New revelations show how Uber was connected to the highest political levels.
- This also included deceiving law enforcement agencies and tax dodges.
- The company claims to have improved years ago.
For years, the US ride-hailing service provider Uber has been aggressively lobbying to influence politicians and the public. The goal was legislative revisions that should allow Uber a better market position in the respective countries. Participating media from the International Consortium for Investigative Journalism (ICIJ) made this procedure known.
Revelations cover years 2013 to 2017
According to the research, text messages between former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick and his colleagues show that Kalanick was willing to resort to physical assaults on drivers to gain public and political sympathy for the company. Under Kalanick, Uber also repeatedly deceived law enforcement agencies. In Denmark, for example, the company has partially disabled the Uber app near police stations.
Among the politicians who have offered their help to Uber are well-known names such as French President Emmanuel Macron. He was Economy Minister at the time of Uber’s negotiations with the French government. There were also contacts with the then US Vice President Joe Biden.
Management is also said to have communicated with the Kremlin in Moscow through closed channels. The finance department of Uber is also said to have smuggled millions of dollars in company profits past the responsible authorities via tax havens.
situation in Switzerland
At the beginning of June, the Federal Supreme Court made a much-noticed decision that could help shape the future of Uber in Switzerland. the Authorities in the canton of Geneva had previously tried to force the car service provider to treat drivers who use its app as employees.
The federal court agreed with the canton of Geneva and given Uber time to turn the drivers into employees. The case is seen as a precedent for the rest of Switzerland. Since 2014, the authorities may have lost at least CHF 40 million in social security contributions due to the lack of employment.
Various media in Germany, France and Great Britain published the revelations on Sunday evening. According to their own statements, they all refer to more than 120,000 confidential documents that have been leaked to the ICIJ’s joint research network. The business practices revealed cover the period between 2013 and 2017.
A spokesman for the company told the media involved that the business practices described were in the past. Uber is now “a completely new” company.