In a judicial order filed earlier this week, a federal judge eviscerated Uber in an ongoing antitrust proposed class-action lawsuit.
According to the Tuesday order, Uber is now required to produce documents to a New York-based federal judge to aid in the determination as to whether Uber has engaged in price-fixing behavior.The suit, known as Meyer v. Kalanick, pits New Yorker and former Uber customer Spencer Meyer against Travis Kalanick, the founder and CEO of Uber.
As a corporation, Uber is not a party to the lawsuit, although it has argued that it should be made party to the case.
The suit alleges that “Uber has a simple but illegal business plan: to fix prices among competitors and take a cut of the profits.” Specifically, the lawsuit cites violations of the Sherman Act, an 1890 law that encourages competition.
US District Judge Jed Rakoff is also trying to figure out whether Uber covered up using a private investigator in order to gather more information about Meyer and his lawyer after they filed the case.
“Plaintiff contended, for instance, that an individual from Ergo [private investigation company] contacted professional colleagues of plaintiff’s counsel Mr.
Schmidt and, in order to gain access to information about Mr.
Schmidt, falsely stated that he was compiling a profile of up-and-coming labor lawyers in the United States,” Judge Rakoff wrote.
“As is obvious from the above brief summary, there is a strong suggestion that, at a minimum, an Ergo investigator hired by Uber in connection with this case made false representations in order to gain access to information about plaintiff and his counsel, thus raising a serious risk of perverting the processes,” the judge continued.
Judge Rakoff ordered that Uber turn over all materials related to the private investigation company.
Neither Meyer’s attorneys nor Uber immediately responded to Ars’ request for comment.