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In the never-ending saga of Uber finding themselves in legal trouble over acting like, well, Uber, the ride hailing behemoth has been sued by Sidecar.
Remember Sidecar? They basically pioneered the concept of ride sharing with an upfront price, and were a real competitor in the industry, at least until, as the company alleges in its lawsuit, Uber engaged in anti-competitive conduct which crushed any chances the company had of competing in the industry.
Crushed by Uber
One of the big allegations made against Uber is that the company engaged in a widespread sabotage campaign. Essentially, Sidecar claims that Uber would put in requests for rides on Sidecar, then cancel before the drivers arrived. This not only harmed Sidecar's business by tying up their drivers, it also harmed the drivers who were inconvenienced or lost legitimate fares as a result.
It is further alleged that Uber used its massive funding to operate at such a steep loss that Sidecar was competitively priced out of the market, as Uber riders received steep discounts that were funded by Uber's investors.
An Uber spokesperson explained the company's position that the ride-sharing industry is competitive and Sidecar isn't the only player to have come and gone, and basically Uber is saying: Nothing to see here other than little old Uber being bullied by a competitor that beat them to market, whom we then decided to crush under the weight of our massive funding.
Notably, the lawsuit comes on the heels of Uber making a confidential filing indicating its plan to IPO, and while it may want to think that its crushed former competitor strategically timed this lawsuit to get revenge, given Uber's spotty legal history, it's more likely Sidecar was just waiting for their turn to pile on.
In addition to Uber planning an IPO, its biggest competitor, Lyft, is on the same path.