Ueber consists of two separate parts:
- An app-and-server cab flagging service
- A batallion of unlicensed (and licensed) taxicab drivers that fall somewhere in between employees and and independent drivers.
The flagging service is nothing special; any company can set one up in any city. There's also nothing specifically "Ueber" about that, and I expect it to get stiff competition.
Then there is a horde of drivers, some unlicensed some licensed taxicab drivers, whom Ueber contracts to conduct rides. The worrisome part is that it's unclear whether they're qualified, insured, fit, etc. and whether they're employees or not. Fact of the matter is that Ueber both dodges the responsibilities that come with having employees and gouges drivers more for their flagging service than they'd be if they were truly independent.
It's that part of Ueber that's predatory, legally questionable and which is therefore under attack.
Then there's quality control, insurance, and liability. Which is where Ueber falls short and practices unfair competition with respect to other taxicab drivers.
We have government agencies that regulate taxicabs, make sure they uniformly adhere to certain minimum standards and won't simply abduct and rob their passengers. Without first having to look up a driver's "reviews".
There's nothing at all "irrelevant" about a government agency that does that, and it's worth having.
If Ueber wants to be a taxicab company, fine, but it will have to play by the same rules as everybody else: licensed drivers only. The fact that it's burning a load of venture capital to bend the rules is no reason to support them.