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Uber "bought" everyone: a big scandal flares up in France, and not only there
12 July, 12:51
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Uber "bought" everyone: a big scandal flares up in France, and not only there
Photo: Соцсети
An international consortium of journalists has published a dossier of 124,000 documents on the activities of the world famous company.

Ivan Zubov

The American multinational company Uber (which created a mobile app of the same name for finding, calling and paying for taxis or private drivers and delivering food) used illegal actions to expand, the International Consortium of Journalists says based on 124,000 documents released to the public. The company put pressure on the governments of different countries to change the existing legislation, cheated the rating of its application, deceived the police with its help and did not care about its drivers.

Macron helped with everything he could

The scandal that erupted around this company is directly related to French President Emmanuel Macron. Even when he was Minister of Economy in 2014-2016, he supported Uber in every possible way before the government, communicated directly with the company's management and even personally met with him in his office. It is clear from the Uber Dossier that Macron, who was re-elected as French president in April, was close enough to Uber managers during those two years that they did not hesitate to turn to him for possible assistance when tax and other government authorities inquired about them. France.

The dossier alleges that Macron, who promised to turn France into a "startup country," covered up at least three of four meetings with Uber CEO and founder Travis Kalanick.

True, the Élysée Palace today claims that we are talking about simple working meetings at which Macron agreed to rid the company of "some administrative or regulatory obstacles." However, the opposition believes that the Uber Dossier scandal is a matter of national importance. According to the vice-president of the National Association Jordan Bardell, new facts confirm that Emmanuel Macron has always "placed private interests, often foreign ones, above national ones".

Now Macron is facing a parliamentary investigation, according to The Guardian, which has all these documents.

The data consists of presentations, notebooks, reference materials, invoices, emails, iMessages and WhatsApp messages between the most senior employees of the Silicon Valley giant at the time. They cover 40 countries and the period from 2013 to 2017, during which Uber actively expanded around the world. The data reveals how the company has broken laws, defrauded police and regulators, used violence against its employees, and covertly lobbied governments around the world.

In Russia, Uber also helped

In addition to senior French officials, both British and Russian ones appear in the Dossier. One of the company's executives in 2014-2016, Mark McGann, told reporters that the ease with which Uber infiltrated the highest echelons of power in countries such as the UK, France and Russia was "intoxicating" but also "deeply unfair" and " anti-democratic."

McGann said most senior politicians instinctively supported Uber, seeing the tech company as offering an innovative new platform that could enable flexible work and help restart the economy after the financial crisis.

The publication also writes about how Uber in 2015-2016 tried to find businessmen from Vladimir Putin's entourage in Russia who would help her do business in the country. Through such connections, the company wanted, in particular, to achieve a change in the taxi bill and even paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for this.

For the first time, the taxi service thought about the need to find influential supporters in September 2014, about a year after entering the Russian market. Then the deputy from the Liberal Democratic Party Alexander Starovoitov called for a ban on the use of Uber in Russia. “I think we want [we] to have someone from Putin’s side,” Uber head of business Emil Michael wrote to the company’s lobbyists. So the taxi aggregator came up with the idea to sell a stake to a Russian oligarch and thereby get an ally who would help the company do business in Russia.

By the way, the first candidate to be considered by Uber was Roman Abramovich. However, the deal did not take place: the entrepreneur considered the aggregator's estimate to be too high.

But Alisher Usmanov, writes The Guardian, agreed, and as a result, Uber received $ 20 million in investment from his company. Usmanov's spokesman told the British newspaper that the deal was purely financial, but for Uber it was the billionaire's political influence that was key to the deal, according to the leak. According to one of the documents, Uber chief executive Travis Kalanick, at a meeting with top managers of USM Usmanov in Davos in 2016, explained that he expects partners to invest and support in relations with the authorities. According to Uber internal documents, the Russian company was ready to help.

At the same forum in Davos, Kalanick agreed with another Russian oligarch, Mikhail Fridman, to invest $200 million in Uber. Uber also promised that Friedman's LetterOne company would be able to purchase additional $50 million worth of stock at a bargain price. However, this could happen on one condition - if the number of Uber trips in Russia continues to grow...