Pay up or shut down.
That was the message from a judge with the California Public Utilities Commission after ruling that ride-sharing giant Uber must pay a $7.3 million dollar fine and turn over specific information, or cease operations completely.
Uber now has 30 days to pay the fine, otherwise it will lose its license to operate in California, the company’s home state. The CPUC says Uber failed to provide information about things like the number of requests it gets for accessible vehicles, causes of accidents involving Uber drivers, and how many rides are requested but not accepted. There was a September 2014 deadline for all ride-sharing companies to provide this info to the CPUC, and they say Uber was the only one that failed to do so.
No one from Uber was available for comment but an Uber spokesperson sent us the following statement: “This ruling--and the associated fine--are deeply disappointing. We will appeal the decision as Uber has already provided substantial amounts of data to the California Public Utilities Commission, information we have provided elsewhere with no complaints. Going further risks compromising the privacy of individual riders as well as driver-partners. These CPUC requests are also beyond the authority of the Commission and will not improve public safety. It is important to note there will be no suspension while the appeal is heard.”
What does this ruling mean for Uber? Do you think Uber will win its appeal? Does this decision actually hold water?
Carmel DeAmicis, associate editor, startups, at Re/Code