Uber Settles for $272 Million in Australia

(NationRise.com) – Uber has agreed to pay a massive settlement to taxi drivers in Australia. The rideshare company will pay nearly $272 million to cover lost expenses and reduced licensing values after it began operating in Australia.

The settlement follows a class action lawsuit that was initially set to appear before the nation’s Supreme Court. However, Judge Lisa Nichols decided to vacate the suit after Uber agreed to pay the substantial settlement.

Michael Donelly, the principal attorney for Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, accused Uber of fighting “tooth and nail” for five years to provide its services in Australia without legal recourse. He also noted the victory after other lawsuits brought about in various cities around Australia failed. His firm’s cut could reach up to $35 million. The remaining funds will be given to taxi drivers and companies.

Uber said that its services have helped both drivers and passengers across Australia. According to a statement, their service has helped citizens increase their income while also making transportation more accessible for passengers. In 2019, over 8,000 taxi drivers accused Uber of circumventing Australian transportation laws to gain an “unfair” advantage in the market. The lawsuit came shortly after the company introduced UberX, a resource that allows different users to split the cost of trips in exchange for carpooling. Taxi companies never introduced such a service.

Uber revolutionized the ground transportation industry by allowing its users to transport passengers in their personal vehicles. The service has made transportation more affordable and convenient through its mobile app, but it has also threatened the legacy taxi transportation industry. The company has faced backlash and lawsuits from independent transportation drivers and providers across the world. Those lawsuits have cost the company hundreds of millions of dollars.

Australia’s Supreme Court will still have to review the settlement before Uber must pay. They will determine whether payments are necessary and if the lawsuit complies with applicable laws. They are scheduled to review it in April.

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