Uber’s complaints against France, Germany and Spain were well received by the European Commission

Uber’s complaints against France and Germany regarding “restriction of its activities” were submitted to the European Commission in 2015 by then-Commissioner for the Internal Market Elżbiet Bieńkowska, French daily Le Monde reported on Tuesday.

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“The American travel company was facing lawsuits at the time, including in France, and the board decided to go on the offensive with a series of complaints about freedom to do business in the EU,” the daily explains. 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 violating labor laws.

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 2013-17, when the company was headed by co-founder Travis Kalanick, show the ethically questionable practices of its management, as The Guardian calls it.

The Uber files were published by a British newspaper “Suggest that cases brought by Uber against France, Germany and Spain were partly inspired by the EU Commissioner, Poland’s Elżbieta Bieńkowska (…)”
– writes “Le Monde”.

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What is Bieńkowska’s role in the case?

“Great meeting with Pienkowska” – wrote Mark McCann, the main Uber lobbyist in Europe, who participated in a meeting of several company representatives in Pienkowska, Kalanica and Brussels in January 2015. In another note describing the same meeting with Bieńkowska, it was written: “It was very positive and constructive. According to him, complaints about violations of internal market regulations are a clear and quick way to achieve our goals,” reports Le Monde.

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Uber later filed complaints against France, Germany and Spain, and considered bringing more 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 complaints. During the described meeting, ‘Uber representatives mentioned the possibility of bringing a complaint and asked what the commission thought about it. If an institution or organization is concerned that its interests are threatened by national or Community legislation, it is the Commission’s responsibility to inform of possible remedies. But at no point did the commission officials + encourage Uber or any other company to file a complaint,” the spokesperson said.

The Guardian conducted a global investigation into the leaked files on Uber, sharing the data with the editorial offices of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).


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