Uber pressured officials to drop investigations, used a “kill switch” to thwart regulators and law enforcement, and considered exploiting violence against its drivers to win public sympathy as it expanded aggressively into global markets, according to analysis of a leaked batch of confidential documents.

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) scoured more than 124,000 documents – including texts, emails and invoices – to expose the “ethically questionable practices that have fueled the transformation of the ridesharing business “, according to the Guardian.

The British newspaper first leaked the files and then shared them with the ICIJ, a global non-profit network of investigative journalists.

In a written statement, Uber spokeswoman Jill Hazelbaker acknowledged “mistakes” in the past and said CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, hired in 2017, had been “charged with transforming all aspects of Uber operations. ‘Uber’.

“When we say Uber is a different company today, we literally mean it: 90% of current Uber employees joined Dara after Dara became CEO,” Ms. Hazelbaker said.

Founded in 2009, Uber sought to circumvent taxi regulations and offer inexpensive transportation through a ride-sharing app, according to the report from the consortium dubbed the “Uber Files.”

The report reveals the extraordinary efforts the company has undertaken to expand into nearly 30 countries, becoming one of Silicon Valley’s best-known exports.

Company lobbyists – including former aides to President Barack Obama – have sought to persuade government officials to drop their investigations into the company, rewrite labor and taxi laws and relax restrictions. driver background checks, according to the newspapers.

The investigation found Uber was using “stealth technology” to fend off government inquiries.

The company, for example, used a “kill switch” that cut off access to Uber servers and prevented authorities from seizing evidence in raids in at least six countries.

The Uber Files team reported that during a police raid in Amsterdam, former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick personally issued an order: “Please press the kill switch as soon as possible… Access must be closed at AMS (Amsterdam).”

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Photo: AP

Mr Kalanick saw the threat of violence against Uber drivers in France by aggrieved taxi drivers as a way to gain public support, according to the consortium. “Violence guarantees success,” Mr. Kalanick sent his colleagues.

Responding to the inquiry, a spokesman for Mr Kalanick, Devon Spurgeon, said the former CEO “has never suggested that Uber profits from violence at the expense of driver safety”.

The tech giant was also able to reduce its tax bill by millions of dollars by sending profits through Bermuda and other tax havens, then “sought to divert attention from its tax obligations by helping authorities collect taxes from its drivers,” the reporting team said.

French President Emmanuel Macron sends a jubilee message to the Queen
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Leak suggests relationship between Emmanuel Macron and carpooling company

The Guardian journalists say Emmanuel Macron, then French economy minister and now French president, made “extraordinary efforts” to help Uber disrupt the French closed-loop taxi industry.

In a statement, the Élysée said that Mr. Macron’s ministerial functions at the time “naturally led him to meet and interact with many companies engaged in the radical shift that has taken place during these years in the service industry.

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