Antitrust Suit Filed Against Uber in Maryland | NBC4 Washington

Antitrust Suit Filed Against Uber in Maryland



    (Published Thursday, July 10, 2014)

    A group of Maryland taxicab companies and drivers is suing Uber, accusing the car-sharing service of violating the state's antitrust laws.

    The suit asks the state to make Uber play by the same rules as taxicabs.

    It also seeks payment for damages for lost business, though how the damages would be determined is unclear.

    The suit claims the app-dispatched ride-sharing service steals business by skirting state and local laws.

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    The owner of Barwood, a co-plaintiff that has operated in Montgomery County since before the Beltway was completed, says Uber's argument that its app-based technology means taxi rules don't apply is flawed.

    "There are rules such as fingerprints," Barwood President Lee Barnes said. "They will tell you that they check a drivers database, but the fingerprints go to the FBI and the criminal justice system, so the government decides which drivers can get a taxi license, and they do annual background checks. The government does medical tests, which is important because you have a lot of different things in transporting the public and as a common carrier have those responsibilities. They regulate the fares."

    "While we can't comment on active litigation, I can tell you that Uber will vigorously defend the rights of riders to enjoy competition and choice and for drivers to build their own small business," an Uber spokesperson said in an email to News4.

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