Feeds

Uber kindly agrees not to price gouge during disasters

Cab-killer bows to 1970s oil price protection laws

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Taxi-killing car service Uber has struck a deal with New York State officials to prevent runaway service charges.

State Attorney-General Eric Schneiderman said that the company had agreed to impose a cap on ride prices in the event of an emergency.

Because Uber uses a sliding scale based on demand for its service, a natural disaster or other event could potentially cause a spike in prices, with users encountering huge rates when cars are in high demand.

To counter the issue, New York State officials have opted to extend existing price-gouging protections, first introduced in the late 1970s during oil shortages which place a limit on how high prices can escalate in the event of an emergency.

Officials did not provide exact details on what rates would be capped at.

"It provides consumers with critical protections to which they are entitled under the law – and it provides Uber with clarity from government about how the law will be applied to its innovative pricing model," Schneiderman said in announcing the deal.

"This agreement also serves as a model for the kind of effective collaboration that should exist between government and technology companies like Uber."

The deal also provides Uber with some much-needed goodwill in its dealings with government agencies. The self-proclaimed ride-sharing service has drawn the ire of local governments and regulatory agencies alike for a business model which places the service in direct competition with the heavily-regulated taxi industry.

City governments around the world have struggled with how to manage Uber, which some argue operates as an unlicensed taxi service. In London, a legal battle is set to determine whether Uber drivers are subject to taxi regulations, while cities such as Seattle have opted to put a hard cap on the number of drivers the service is allowed to have operating.

For its part, Uber said that it will use the New York agreement as the basis for price-capping deals in other cities in which it operates.

"This policy intends to strike the careful balance between the goal of transportation availability with community expectations of affordability during disasters," said Uber CEO Travis Kalanick.

"Our collaborative solution with Attorney-General Schneiderman is a model for technology companies and regulators in local, state and federal government." ®

Business security measures using SSL

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.