Uber is currently embroiled in hundreds of lawsuits around the world, but after today, it can cross one off the list. The cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco sued Uber in 2014 over its background check procedures, but the company has now settled out of court for at least $US10 million. The settlement, approved by a San Fransisco judge earlier today, has monetary penalties and changes to some Uber policies. The company has to pay $US10 million within 60 days, and also make changes to advertising and airport-related policies. If it doesn’t stick to those changes for at least two years, it will be on the hook for a further $US15 million.
The advertising changes relate mostly to Uber’s background checks, and how those were represented to customers. The District Attorneys of LA and SF took issue with Uber describing itself as the “safest ride on the road”, or its background checks as “the gold standard”. Uber is also now restricted to operating at airports it has specific permission to do pick-ups from.
Uber isn’t the first ridesharing app to run into these problems: the same DAs sued Lyft over similar issues, a case that was settled for a comparatively tiny $US500,000. Given Uber’s $US60 billion valuation, I’m sure the $US10 million settlement won’t sting too much.