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. The company has now settled out of court for at least $10 million.
The settlement, approved by a San Fransisco judge earlier today, has monetary penalties and changes to some Uber policies. The company must to pay $10 million within 60 days. The terms also require it to make changes to advertising and airport-related policies. If the company doesn’t stick to those changes for at least two years, it will be on the hook for a further $15 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 $500,000. Given Uber’s $60 billion valuation, I’m sure the $10 million settlement won’t sting too much.
By Chris Mills