Uber facing problems in Maryland, D.C.

On July 3, more than 30 Maryland cab companies filed a lawsuit in Baltimore Circuit Court against the popular ride-sharing company Uber. The cab companies claim that Uber is interfering with their business by using a surge-pricing model, which the plaintiffs claim is similar to price fixing. Uber is barred already from operating in the state of Virginia.

Uber began its operations in San Francisco where one of the oldest cab companies in the city is now saying that it may go out of business within 18 months because of the competition it faces from Uber. The cab companies who filed the lawsuit in Baltimore are saying that Uber is not subjected to the same regulations as are cab companies, but Uber says that its ride-sharing model is not the same as a taxi service. In Maryland, Uber has proposed that it be regulated differently than cab companies, and the cab companies are lobbying against these proposals.

Two of the companies involved in the business litigation are based in Montgomery County, and in June of this year, taxis affiliated with the D.C. Taxi Operators Association closed down Pennsylvania Avenue in D.C. as part of a protest against Uber; the protest caused a backup in traffic. An Uber representative said that the company would fight the lawsuit if necessary but that it was too early in the proceedings to make a comment about the dispute.

Whether a company is pursuing a claim against another business or defending allegations of unfair business practices, it may be useful for the officers and executives of a corporation to consult with a business law attorney. Business law attorneys may also advise companies before a lawsuit is even underway and help ensure that they are using a fair business model that does not violate any federal or state regulations.

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