Uber Faces at Least 5 Criminal Probes in the U.S., Report Says
That’s two more than previously reported.
Things just keep getting worse for Uber. The company already faces criminal probes related to alleged use of illicit software, and the bribing of foreign officials. But that's just the beginning, it seems.
Bloomberg reports that the ride-sharing giant is currently facing five Justice Department criminal probes, which is two more than previously reported. Officials are now investigating where Uber violated price-transparency laws; another investigation is looking into whether Uber stole self-driving car tech from rival Waymo.
Uber is already being sued by Waymo, which believes the ride-sharing company acquired trade secrets from Anthony Levandowski, an engineer who worked for Waymo before joining Uber. The judge overseeing the case previously asked federal prosecutors to investigate Waymo's claims, but the existence of a criminal probe had not been confirmed until now.
The price-transparency investigation centers on Uber's use of software tools called Cascade and Firehouse. Uber allegedly used them to offer discounts to some customers over others, which could constitute a violation of federal laws prohibiting price discrimination.
Uber still faces investigations related to two separate pieces of software. One is "Greyball," which the company allegedly used to circumvent government regulators. The other is "Hell," which was allegedly used to track drivers working for rival Lyft. The Justice Department is also investigating whether Uber violated laws against bribing foreign officials. That investigation was made public the day new CEO Dara Khasrowshahi joined the company.
The various investigations could cause even more damage to a company that has been pummeled by scandals all year. As Uber is forced to deal with one crisis after another, it faces increased competition from rivals like Lyft and Asian firm Grab, as well as increased pressure from regulators. Many experts believe the future of ride sharing is bright, but that may not be the case for the company that popularized it.