Victory for Taxi Operators – Uber Agrees to A$271.8m Settlement in Australian Lawsuit

Ride-hailing giant Uber has agreed to pay A$271.8 million to settle a lawsuit in Australia. The lawsuit was brought by taxi operators and drivers who alleged income losses due to Uber’s aggressive entry into the country’s market. The class action, filed by Maurice Blackburn Lawyers on behalf of over 8,000 taxi and hire car owners and drivers, accused Uber of disrupting the industry when it expanded its services in Australia.

The lawsuit, filed in 2019 in the Supreme Court of Australia’s Victoria state, accused Uber of causing financial harm to taxis and hiring car operators because of its competitive practices. Maurice Blackburn’s principal lawyer, Michael Donelly, hailed the case’s success, stating that it delivered the outcome the group members sought.

While acknowledging the proposed settlement, Uber emphasized that it had made significant contributions to various state-level taxi compensation schemes since 2018. The company stated that the settlement would resolve the legacy issues, although it did not disclose the specific amount agreed upon.

Before the settlement can be finalized, the court must approve it as being in the best interests of the group members. The proposed settlement significantly develops Uber’s ongoing legal battles worldwide. Over the years, the San Francisco-based company has encountered protests and legal challenges from taxi drivers in various cities and countries.

In December 2023, Uber emerged victorious in a lawsuit brought against it by 2,500 taxi drivers in France. The Paris commercial court ruled in favor of Uber, stating that the company had not engaged in unfair competition practices as alleged by the taxi drivers. Despite these legal victories, Uber continues to navigate complex regulatory landscapes and face opposition from traditional taxi operators as it expands its services globally.