Leaks Show Uber Spent $90M a Year on Political Lobbying

European government officials past and present have been rocked by internal documents leaked from the Uber ride-hailing company revealing a orchestrated lobbying campaign.

The BBC reports that the files show how Uber representative lobbied top ministers at undeclared meetings while fighting restrictions to its ride-hailing service in various European states. While the many political figures involved have sought to defend themselves in the face of the revelations, a cache of 124,000 internal Uber records covering a five year period leaked to the Guardian newspaper in the UK and shared with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists in Washington D. C. and BBC Panorama, reveal how Uber lobbied top politicians for support in 29 countries as the firm bid to disrupt Europe’s taxi industry. It has been reported that the company invested $90M annually in the concerted campaign to persuade influential politicians to change local regulations to allow the company to expand its service at the detriment to existing taxi companies.

The BBC reports that Sue Hawley, chief executive of the campaign group Spotlight on Corruption, said the meetings with UK political figures broke Parliamentary rules because should have been declared. She said: “It certainly breaches the spirit of the rules. This is a very, very controversial company. So, I think in that context, it is even more extraordinary that these meetings went undeclared by so many ministers.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *