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Business Ethics - Assignment 3: Newspaper presentation Group 6.


Uber comes to end of ride at London’s City Hall

 In 2012, the transport authority approved Uber’s right to operate in the London, over the fierce objections of
black cab drivers and the existing minicab industry.
 The problems began when; (1) Uber faced political attacks over its tax affairs, (2) Uber was under increasing
pressure from black cab groups → solved by mass support from Londoners.
 In 2017, Transport for London (TfL) banned Uber because of concerns regarding customer safety and security
and its aggressive stance with regulators → use of Greyball software to block regulators.
 The decision to ban Uber in London has several critics; (1) 30.000 Londoners lost their job, (2) blinkered view of
innovation, and (3) reluctance to adapt to the future.
 The negative effects for Uber of its ban in London are that; (1) London is their largest European market, and (2)
Uber has turned a profit in the UK, despite making losses overall.
 Further trouble for Uber in the EU is expected because of the decision of whether Uber should be regulated as a
transport company or as an ‘information society service’ (a classification that is subject to looser rules).
 A non-binding opinion from the advocate-general at the EU’s top court said the app must be classified as a
“service in the field of transport”.

Is it right to ban Uber from London, since it does not break any rules and should be free to operate in a
capitalistic market?

 Ubers claims itself to be a technology company, not a transportation provider. They do not follow expected
safety standards and would not take responsibility for the drivers, therefore, to some degree, exploitation of
drivers takes place. They are unprotected employees which cannot guarantee the safety of Uber users. This can
be perceived as morally wrong or bad.
 Uber claims that cab drivers are self-responsible, because they have a driver’s license provided by the
government to guarantee they are allowed to take place safely in traffic. The government is in the end the agent
about safety and security of their society, and TfL provides a license to Uber
 From the same viewpoint that they are a technical service, they make use of Greyball software;
o Greyballing does not break the law in the U.K., it is an acceptable business risk in the poorly governed realm
of cyberspace. Although, it annoys regulators, and creates a tense relationship with policymakers. It is a
technical strategy which takes place in a grey area. One could argue that this is also unethical behaviour
from Uber

 In a capitalistic economy Uber should be free to operate in the market with a profit-making view
 Uber’s aim is to create a ‘sharing economy' in order for us to become a more socialized world
 But it turned out that its extreme concentration on profits, Uber operates in line with Friedman’s (1970) claim:
that the purpose of companies is to focus on maximizing profit for the shareholders.

Conclusion: Legally it is not necessarily right to ban Uber, since they have not broken any hard laws. But for their
image to regulators, policymakers and to achieve progress, Uber needs to take responsibility for its actions, in order
for it to secure the safety of its customers and drivers. Moreover, the government should also behave more proactive
instead of reactive to solve these issues.

Tanja Begheijn S3018571 – Karlijn de Boer S0000000 – Ylona Mak S2349507 – Milan Shoukri S2803976
Business Ethics - Assignment 3: Newspaper presentation Group 6.05

Tanja Begheijn S3018571 – Karlijn de Boer S0000000 – Ylona Mak S2349507 – Milan Shoukri S2803976