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Uber 'price-fixing' lawsuit to go ahead

BBC News BBC News 1/04/2016
Uber driver: The lawsuit concerns Uber drivers and the firm's chief executive © AFP The lawsuit concerns Uber drivers and the firm's chief executive

A federal judge in the US has refused to throw out a lawsuit alleging that Uber's chief executive conspired with drivers to fix the cost of rides.

The app-based taxi booking service uses an algorithm to set the cost of trips, but the plaintiffs allege that Travis Kalanick used this to co-ordinate higher prices for New York drivers.

A complaint filed in December said this constituted a price-fixing conspiracy in violation of antitrust laws.

Uber has denied the claims.

The suit was originally filed by Uber customer Spencer Meyer from Connecticut.

Mr Kalanick had filed a motion to have the lawsuit thrown out, but this has now been rejected by Jed Rakoff, a judge at the US District Court, Southern District of New York.

"We disagree with this ruling," said Uber in a statement. "These claims are unwarranted and have no basis in fact.

"In just five years since its founding, Uber has increased competition, lowered prices, and improved service."

Uber is facing another lawsuit brought in California by three drivers who argued they should be defined as employees of the company - not contractors. This would entitle them to tips and expenses claims.

In that case, the court is awaiting documents to be received by November prior to the trial.

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