Uber has oh-so-graciously agreed to pay a $US7.6 million fine relating to failure to report driver data to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). Although Uber denies any wrongdoing in the case, it’s paying the fine to avoid a suspension of its licence to operate.
The fine relates to a July 2015 case, in which Uber’s California subsidiary was found to have avoided giving the CPUC required data about its business practices, including things like vehicle accessibility and why drivers would choose to accept or reject rides. Under California law, ride-sharing apps are legal, but are required to operate transparently.
Uber told the Los Angeles Times that “while we are disappointed by the decision, we look forward to making our case to the California Court of Appeals. In the meantime, we will pay the fine and continue to work in good faith with the Commission.”
California is becoming an increasingly unhappy place for Uber to operate: despite the San Francisco origins of the app, it’s faced legal challenges over the employee/contractor status of its drivers, including an upcoming class-action lawsuit that could rather drastically enhance the size of Uber’s workforce.
Still, with a $US62 billion valuation, Uber can probably afford the $US7 million fine, and whatever other mild slaps on the wrist California chooses to hand down in the future.