Uber's dismissal notwithstanding, the facts of this case seem very clear. Uber IS a duopolist, it DOES exploit asymmetric information in serving drivers and riders, it DOES set prices for its allegedly independent contrators. It will be interesting to hear Uber's response under oath to specific questions about their business practices (e.g. does Uber "throttle" rides offered to drivers nearing a quest bonus?).

What is less clear is whether these business practices violate antitrust law. One thing working in the plaintiff's favor is Uber's recent pricing behavior. In the Travis era, consumers clearly benefitted from subsidized below-cost pricing. Not any more, given DK's urgent need to deliver on his promised profitability.

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Excellent post. This reminds me of the strife around (new) car sales channels in the USA. Either a store selling new cars is a company store (see Tesla) and thus has no ability to set prices (Tesla does that, not any intermediary), or it is an independent store (typically franchised, see Ford and all the rest), in which case it gets to set prices (and BTW takes all the inventory onto its books). (And tangentially, since car dealers are thus independent contractors, they are prohibited by law from unionizing to protect themselves against the OEMs: this is why they turn to powerful lobbying associations.) Uber seems to want to have it both ways (who wouldn't?): when it comes to interacting with the customer and setting prices drivers are employees, and when it comes to interacting with drivers (e.g. re pay rates), they are contractors.

I wonder why the ridehail firms just don't make their drivers agents, as we see in insurance (see State Farm): might resolve a lot of these issues....

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