An Uber driver using the company’s app in Munich, December 22, 2015. (Photo: Letitia Vancon / The New York Times) Okay, Uber is definitely not a joke in the sense that it is a large company that has rattled the taxi industry in the United States and around the world. It has also raised many important regulatory issues, as it has sought to evade longstanding regulation of the taxi industry.
Many of these regulations were clearly protectionist in nature, with the purpose of securing the position of an entrenched cartel. However other regulations, like background checks of drivers and insurance requirements for passengers, serve important public purposes. While Uber has preferred the route of simple evasion of regulations, it is likely that we will see a much needed modernization of regulations in this area.
While Uber’s impact on the taxi industry is clearly not a joke, the market valuation of the company may well be. Uber is not yet publicly traded, but its market value has been estimated as being as high as $70 billion. That compares to a market value of just $51 billion for auto giant GM and $44.6 billion for Ford.
These are longstanding companies that both make close […]