Uber chief books diplomatic mission to London

Dara Khosrowshahi and transport authority to discuss deal to prevent loss of licence

Uber Technologies is rushing to respond to Transport for London’s finding that  the ride-hailing service is not “fit and proper” to hold a licence. Photograph: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Uber Technologies is rushing to respond to Transport for London’s finding that the ride-hailing service is not “fit and proper” to hold a licence. Photograph: Yui Mok/PA Wire

 

Uber Technologies chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi is flying into London next week for a diplomatic mission with city regulators to negotiate a deal that prevents the ride-hailing service from being banned in Europe’s largest city.

With Uber’s new chief executive grappling with a host of challenges, the visit shows how damaging the ban, announced last week, could be to Uber’s business.

The UK capital is one of the company’s most successful markets, with about 40,000 drivers and 3.5 million people using the app at least once every 90 days, according to Uber.

The ban has already acquired an overtly political edge. London mayor Sadiq Khan, a Labour politician, supports the regulator’s decision, while prime minister Theresa May said in a BBC interview on Thursday that the city’s plan threatened jobs and is “disproportionate”.

Mr Khosrowshahi will sit down with Mike Brown, the commissioner for Transport for London, the regulator that last week revoked Uber’s licence.

The San Francisco-based company is rushing to respond to the UK government’s conclusion that it doesn’t conduct sufficient background checks on drivers, report crimes properly, and actively avoids regulatory oversight.

Uber disputes the findings and is appealing the decision, during which time the service can remain in operation. – (Bloomberg)

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