US federal authorities are investigating Uber over whether it interfered with the app of rival firm Lyft illegally.
The ride-hailing software firm is cooperating with the investigation centred on the use of a programme called “Hell” which scraped information from Lyft’s app using fake driver accounts.
The programme is no longer operational, but it allegedly allowed Uber to track driver locations and pricing. It was exposed by an April report by The Information, a tech website. It also allegedly allowed Uber to track which drivers worked for both Lyft and Uber.
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A Lyft driver attempted to sue Uber last month over the use of the programme, seeking class action status which would have allowed other drivers to join the suit. However, California courts rejected it last week.
The investigation adds yet another difficulty on top of the bulging in-tray for new chief executive, Dara Khosrowshahi.
Khosrowshahi joined at the end of August from travel website company Expedia, after Uber founder Travis Kalanick was forced out by a string of scandals, ranging from allegations of rampant sexism to regulatory issues around the world.
In May it was revealed that the US Department of Justice is investigating alleged attempts by the firm to mislead regulators in Portland, Oregon, by delivering a modified version of the app, known as “Greyball”, to city employees.
The job of the chief executive in addressing these issues is complicated by the lack of a head of compliance, after Joseph Spiegler resigned from the role last week, according to Bloomberg.
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