1 A vehicle displays both Uber and Lyft signs in May 2016, shortly before both companies left Austin. STEPHEN SPILLMAN/FOR AMERICAN-STATESMAN A U.S. Department of Justice criminal investigation into Uber’s operations now includes how the company operated in Austin, officials confirmed Monday.
A city spokesman confirmed that Justice Department officials contacted staffers at Austin’s Transportation Department and Aviation Department seeking information about Uber’s operations and regulatory information while the ride-hailing behemoth provided rides in Austin. Those departments oversee how ride-hailing companies and taxicabs operate in the city and at the airport.
On Friday, Reuters first reported that the Justice Department had launched a criminal investigation into a controversial Uber software program called Greyball. According to The New York Times , Uber used the software in cities where it had been prohibited from operating, helping it avoid detection by police or code enforcement officers trying to catch the ride-hailing company violating local laws.
Uber began providing rides June 3, 2014, without Austin’s approval, a few days after Lyft did so. It wasn’t until October 2014 that the City Council approved rules allowing ride-hailing companies to operate under certain restrictions. Both companies left the Austin market in May 2016 after voters rejected a […]