Uber’s complaints against France, Germany and Spain have been welcomed by the European Commission
Uber’s complaints against France and Germany over the “restriction of its activities” were lodged with the European Commission in 2015 by Elżbiet Bieńkowska, then internal market commissioner, French daily Le Monde reported on Tuesday.
The Guardian: Uber grows through lawlessness and lobbying
Uber expanded into many cities around the world by ignoring the law, defrauding the police and using violence.
“The US tour operator was facing legal action at the time, including in France, and the board decided to go on the offensive with a series of complaints about freedom of enterprise in the EU” , explains the daily. At the time, Uber used all available lobbying and other methods to change regulations in several countries and operated there despite protests from taxi drivers or allegations of labor violations.
The Uber scandal was first reported by the Guardian on Sunday. The British newspaper revealed 124 thousand. The leaked documents – dubbed the Uber Files – from 2013 to 2017, when the company was run by co-founder Travis Kalanick, show the ethically questionable practices of its leadership, as The Guardian calls it.
The Uber files were published by a British newspaper “Suggesting that the lawsuits brought by Uber against France, Germany and Spain were partly inspired by the European commissioner, the Polish Elżbieta Bieńkowska (…)”
– writes “The World”.
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What is Bieńkowska’s role in the case?
“Great meeting with Pienkowska” – wrote Mark McCann, Uber’s main lobbyist in Europe, who attended a meeting of several business representatives in Pienkowska, Kalanica and Brussels in January 2015. In another note describing the same meeting with Bieńkowska, he was writes: “It was very positive and constructive. According to him, complaints for violation of internal market rules are a clear and quick way to achieve our goals,” reports Le Monde.
Uber then filed complaints against France, Germany and Spain, and considered bringing others against Belgium and Italy. Asked by Le Monde for clarification, a spokesperson for the European Commission said the commission did not encourage the American company to file a complaint. During the described meeting, Uber representatives discussed the possibility of filing a complaint and asked what the commission thought about it. If an institution or organization fears that its interests are threatened by national or Community legislation, it is the Commission’s responsibility to inform it of the possible remedies. But at no time did commission officials encourage Uber or any other company to file a complaint,” the spokesperson said.
The Guardian conducted a global investigation into leaked Uber files, sharing the data with the editorial offices of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).