A group of taxi companies in Edmonton have sued Uber ride-sharing service alleging the company of price-fixing and continued violation of city bylaws. The group, which includes the Greater Edmonton Taxi Services, Alberta Co-op Taxi Lines, and 24-7 Taxi Line, filed the suit today asking for $150 million in general damages, due to economic harm the companies say they have suffered due to Uber ignoring city bylaws, CBC News reports.
The report details that taxi companies are accusing Uber of “intentionally flouting city of Edmonton’s bylaws regulating vehicles for hire” as well as the Traffic Safety Act and the federal Competition Act. They further claim that Uber is allowing drivers to operate vehicles-for-hire without proper driving licenses or commercial insurance, despite being explicitly informed they were acting in violation of the city’s rules. The filing also cites city regulations that say “vehicles-for-hire must have a metering device approved by the municipal government, and must be registered as a taxi broker”.
“The cab companies’ lawsuit further alleges that Uber has also conspired to violate section 45 of the Competition Act by fixing prices. It claims that under the act, Uber is considered a competitor to its drivers — since Uber, not the individual drivers, set the prices for fares, the lawsuit says the company “has unlawfully conspired with the Defendant Drivers to fix prices of (vehicle-for-hire) services” in Edmonton.
Uber has long said that its drivers are not full employees, but should be considered independent contractors. The suit claims that if this is the case, Uber is still price fixing by setting the prices charged by competing drivers”.
Earlier this year, a class action lawsuit seeking $400 million CAD in damages was launched against Uber by taxi drivers in Toronto, which alleged that the ride-sharing service has created an enormous marketplace for illegal transportation in the city.