Uber investigated over ‘unlawful conduct’

Class action law firm Maurice Blackburn Lawyers is investigating claims that Uber was operating unlawfully in Victoria between 2013 and midway through 2017, when new legislation came into effect.

It is alleged the company caused “extensive loss and damage to law-abiding taxi and hire car operators and licence holders”.

Maurice Blackburn, under instruction from the Victorian Hire Car Association (VHCA), today opened registrations for taxi and hire car drivers, operators and licence owners regarding the firm’s investigations.

During the annual general meeting of the VHCA today, Maurice Blackburn class action principal Ben Slade said at least 6000 taxi and hire licence holders had been affected by Uber’s allegedly unlawful entry into the market.

“It’s no secret that Uber’s entry into the market, in many cases, has had devastating consequences for the livelihoods of existing licence holders and drivers in the Victorian taxi and hire car industries,” he said.

“If our investigation reveals that Uber’s entry to the market involved unlawful conduct, there may be grounds for a class action to recover losses on the part of those affected.

“We know there are thousands of taxi and hire care operators and license holders and we would anticipate strong interest from those that have felt the impact of Uber’s alleged unlawful entry into the Victorian market.

“To those drivers and licence holders who are aggrieved and have suffered because of the way Uber entered the market, we invite them to register for our potential class action on our website from today, as we continue our investigation into the matter.”

However, an Uber spokesman said the company was “confident” despite the investigation.

“We’re confident in our position and will continue focusing our efforts on delivering a great service to Victorian riders and drivers,” he said.

alexis.carey@news.com.au

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