Jul 24, 2015

By Andy Johnson

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Uber has now set up shop in more than 25 Canadian cities including Ottawa, Edmonton, Montreal and is offering free Uber X services in places like London, Kitchener -Waterloo, Hamilton and Guelph for free until Sunday. This as the company is hit with a $400 million class-action lawsuit on behalf of cab and limousine owners and drivers in Ontario.

An illustration picture shows the logo of car-sharing service app Uber on a smartphone next to the picture of an official German taxi sign in Frankfurt, September 15, 2014. A Frankfurt high court will hold a hearing on a recent lawsuit brought against Uberpop by Taxi Deutschland on Tuesday.  San Francisco-based Uber, which allows users to summon taxi-like services on their smartphones, offers two main services, Uber, its classic low-cost, limousine pick-up service, and Uberpop, a newer ride-sharing service, which connects private drivers to passengers - an established practice in Germany that nonetheless operates in a legal grey area of rules governing commercial transportation. The company has faced regulatory scrutiny and court injunctions from its early days, even as it has expanded rapidly into roughly 150 cities around the world.   REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach (GERMANY - Tags: BUSINESS EMPLOYMENT CRIME LAW TRANSPORT)

The Lawyer who filed the suit says the intention is to provide redress for the licensed taxi  and limousine drivers who are losing money to Uber.   The suit alleges Uber is operating its ride-hailing service even though drivers are not licensed as required by the Highway Traffic Act.  It seeks $400 million in compensatory damages, $10 million in punitive damages and an injunction prohibiting UberX from continuing to operate in the province. Toronto recently lost a court case against Uber when a judge ruled there was no evidence the company was operating as a taxi broker or that it breached city bylaws.  An Uber spokeswoman calls the suit protectionist and without merit.

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