LYFT - Lyft, Inc.

NasdaqGS - NasdaqGS Real Time Price. Currency in USD
48.41
+1.89 (+4.06%)
As of 12:44PM EST. Market open.
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Previous Close46.52
Open46.50
Bid48.17 x 800
Ask48.19 x 1100
Day's Range46.38 - 48.42
52 Week Range37.07 - 88.60
Volume3,294,380
Avg. Volume5,955,930
Market Cap14.412B
Beta (5Y Monthly)N/A
PE Ratio (TTM)N/A
EPS (TTM)N/A
Earnings DateN/A
Forward Dividend & YieldN/A (N/A)
Ex-Dividend DateN/A
1y Target EstN/A
  • RBC Analyst Mark Mahaney's Top Tech Predictions for 2020
    Bloomberg

    RBC Analyst Mark Mahaney's Top Tech Predictions for 2020

    Dec.23 -- Mark Mahaney, analyst at RBC Capital, discusses his tech predictions for 2020 with Bloomberg's Taylor Riggs on "Bloomberg Technology." Mahaney, his family and his firm do not own shares of Uber.

  • The Key Takeaways From Tech This Year 
    Bloomberg

    The Key Takeaways From Tech This Year 

    Dec.23 -- Mark Mahaney, analyst at RBC Capital, discusses the key takeaways from tech in 2019 with Bloomberg’s Taylor Riggs on "Bloomberg Technology."

  • Private Equity's Mountain of Dry Powder Is a Danger Sign
    Bloomberg

    Private Equity's Mountain of Dry Powder Is a Danger Sign

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Investors keep flocking to private equity in Asia even though returns are declining. They should take heed: Payouts are likely to get worse from here, rather than better.The hunt for yield in a low-interest world has spurred institutional investors from China Investment Corp. to Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund to join the rush into the alternative asset class. Private equity firms founded by former veterans of Warburg Pincus and KKR & Co. are seeking to raise at least $4.5 billion for new funds investing in China, Cathy Chan of Bloomberg News reported Thursday, in the latest sign of the region’s burgeoning appetite for nonpublic investments.New York-based KKR, meanwhile, is targeting more than $12.5 billion for its fourth Asian fund, which would surpass the record $10.6 billion raised by China’s Hillhouse Capital Group in 2018.(2) At the end of June, private equity firms in Asia were sitting on a record $361 billion of unspent capital, according to London-based market research firm Preqin.The returns haven’t lived up to the hype. Funds focused on Asia generated an internal rate of return of 12.8% last year, down from 15.5% in 2018, according to Preqin. That’s below what investors could have made outside the region: North American funds chalked up an IRR of 16.4% in 2019 while those centered on Europe returned 18%.Even brand-name private equity shops have sputtered. Hillhouse’s $10.6 billion fund saw its IRR slip by 5.16 percentage points between September 2018 and the third quarter of 2019. Over the same period, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index dropped 3.3%, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. KKR’s two existing Asian mega-funds have had varying success.It’s getting harder for private equity firms to realize returns by selling companies on stock markets as the world wakes up to the reality that not all hot technology startups will be IPO winners. That follows disappointing debuts for high-profile names such as Uber Technologies Inc. and Lyft Inc., along with the collapse of WeWork’s U.S. share offering last year.Much of the private-equity action in Asia has focused on China, which has also had its share of setbacks. OneConnect Financial Technology Co., a unit of Ping An Insurance (Group) Co., cut the size of its U.S. IPO by almost half last month, while Oyo Hotels is firing thousands of staff in China and India. Like WeWork and Uber, both companies are backed by Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp.The U.S.-China trade war has also had a damping effect, with some private equity-invested companies finding themselves embroiled in the tensions. Facial recognition startup Megvii Technology Ltd. delayed its IPO in Hong Kong after it was included in a U.S. blacklist cutting off its access to key American technology. Bytedance Inc., owner of the wildly popular video app TikTok, is now a subject of a U.S. national security review, and is weighing the sale of a majority stake in the unit.All that considered, it isn’t surprising that the value of private-equity backed trade sales dropped 14% to $28.5 billion last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, while share sales by private equity owners slumped 27% to $6.4 billion, declining for a third year to the lowest since 2013.While the U.S.-China phase one trade deal signed last week offers some hope of an improvement in conditions, money is still likely to keep piling up in Asian private equity. For one thing, there aren’t many better alternatives. Institutional investors need to diversify: They can’t keep all their funds in U.S. equities, even if these have been going gangbusters for years.But that doesn't mean individuals need to follow suit. Private equity investments are more risky because they are illiquid and take years to pay off. Smart investors should see the ever-growing piles of dry powder as a sign of danger rather than success.\--With assistance from Dani Yang and Irene Huang.  (Corrects to remove non-annualized MSCI index comparisons in the second chart, deletes reference to KKR fund underperforming the market.)(1) The Hillhouse fund is the largest devoted specificallly to Asian investing. Chinese state-backed, or policy, funds such as a $29 billion vehicle created in October to invest in the semiconductor industry are larger.To contact the author of this story: Nisha Gopalan at ngopalan3@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Matthew Brooker at mbrooker1@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Nisha Gopalan is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering deals and banking. She previously worked for the Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones as an editor and a reporter.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Bloomberg

    Airbnb Revamps Corporate Governance, Tying Bonuses to Safety

    (Bloomberg) -- Airbnb Inc. is laying the groundwork for a public market debut later this year, announcing a new corporate governance strategy that values safety, sustainability, diversity and accountability.The home-share startup has said it will track guest safety incidents, verify all seven million listings by December, measure its global carbon footprint and enhance employee diversity. To achieve its ambitions, Airbnb is creating a new Stakeholder Committee on the board and tying staff bonuses to safety metrics, according to a statement Friday.In addition, Airbnb has promised to be transparent, reporting progress at an upcoming Stakeholder Day that can be attended by guests, hosts, communities, employees and investors.“Building an enduringly successful business goes hand-in-hand with making a positive contribution to society,” the company said. “Increasingly, this is what citizens, consumers, employees, communities and policy makers desire -- even demand.”Airbnb has been on the defensive over safety since a mass shooting in October at a party house in Orinda, about 20 miles east of San Francisco, where five people died. Local media started to highlight the number of shootings at Airbnb rentals, and family of those slain questioned how the platform vets its guests. In December, the Wall Street Journal published an investigation showing how Airbnb employees who pushed for stricter safety measures, like requiring users to supply a government ID, were overruled by company executives who feared this could deter new guests or hosts.The company is also entangled in battles with cities around the country over regulations and has been accused of discrimination by hosts. With a $31 billion private valuation, Airbnb is poised to be one of the most high-profile market listings this year. Getting ahead of some of the concerns could help appease investors who may be wary of the unfriendly reception other tech titans, like Uber Technologies Inc., Lyft Inc. and Slack Technologies Inc. received last year.The new Stakeholder Committee will be led by Belinda Johnson, who is due to step down as chief operating officer and join the board in March. The company will also award $100 million in grants to support local projects that promote cultural heritage, economic vitality and sustainable communities and demonstrate clear local impact, according to the announcement.These new initiatives will be demanding on the company as it prepares to go public; verifying every listing by December means staff will have to work through tens of thousands of listings a day. But Airbnb says it’s just getting started.“When we first sat down to begin this work, we knew we were undertaking a difficult and serious task. We allowed ourselves to think about problems and opportunities that will take multiple teams working over multiple years to solve,” the company said. “We are nowhere near finished.”To contact the reporter on this story: Olivia Carville in New York at ocarville1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Molly Schuetz at mschuetz9@bloomberg.net, Robin AjelloFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Lyft forms advisory council to improve platform safety
    Reuters

    Lyft forms advisory council to improve platform safety

    The Safety Advisory Council will include representatives from the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), and "It's On Us", a public awareness campaign launched by former U.S. President Barack Obama in 2014. Lyft and rival Uber Technologies Inc in the past have faced criticism over safety on their platforms and have been slapped with related lawsuits. The move by Lyft comes after the release of Uber's first biennial U.S. Safety Report in December, in which the company said it received over 3,000 reports of sexual assault related to its 1.3 billion rides in the United States in 2018.

  • Uber and Lyft 'cut costs at the expense of workers,' says California lawmaker
    Yahoo Finance

    Uber and Lyft 'cut costs at the expense of workers,' says California lawmaker

    Controversial California law, AB-5, went into effect on January 1 – but ride-hailing giants Uber and Lyft are continuing to challenge the legislation, which aims to disrupt the gig economy in a way that benefits its most vulnerable workers. State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, who authored AB-5, joins The Final Round to discuss.

  • Public Tech Displaces Private Unicorns as Market Stars
    Bloomberg

    Public Tech Displaces Private Unicorns as Market Stars

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- For the past few years, investors have warned of a bubble in privately held tech companies: Valuations simply couldn't be justified based on comparisons with their publicly traded counterparts. Companies such as Uber, the ride-hailing company that has since gone public, were raising venture-capital funding at higher and higher valuations even as blue-chip tech powers such as Apple were given valuations that made them seem like old-fashioned industrial companies. But the roles now seem to have reversed. Based on sentiment, share prices and news flow, one can now argue that the place to go shopping for bargains is in the private markets or among companies that have recently gone public.Look back to early 2016 to see how extreme the sentiment difference was then between public and private tech companies. That was the trough in the global economic slowdown that began in mid-2014. Manufacturing was weakening, and industrial production had fallen on an annual basis in the U.S. Corporate credit markets, particularly in the energy sector, were signaling economic trouble and analysts were calling for recession. From its peak in November 2015 to its bottom in February 2016, the Nasdaq 100 fell more than 16%:Despite this turbulence in the economy and the stock market, this was one of the frothiest times for tech unicorns, or closely held companies valued at $1 billion or more. In December 2015, Uber Technologies Inc. raised $2.1 billion, giving it a valuation of $62.5 billion -- a higher valuation than it has four years later as a publicly traded company. The same month, Lyft Inc. raised $1 billion, giving it a valuation of as much as $4.5 billion, and almost double what it had been in a funding round earlier that year. Powered by investor exuberance, 2015 was the year of the unicorn, and the number of companies that passed the $1 billion valuation threshold almost doubled. QuicktakeUnicornsLast year was rockier for unicorns, as many of them suffered disappointing debuts when they went public. No company proved more embarrassing than WeWork, which had to cancel its initial public offering amid doubts about the valuation it wanted and a litany of corporate governance concerns. Because of the disappointing performance of many high-profile IPOs and the pall that WeWork cast over private companies, the bar will be higher for startups to go public in 2020. Companies will have to provide more disclosures about how their businesses work, show a path to profitability and be willing to accept lower valuations than they may have hoped for a year ago.Closely held companies may also have their troubles securing capital in the future; SoftBank, the high-profile backer of WeWork and Uber, recently walked away from funding rounds it had intended to complete.This skittishness comes as public markets have renewed their embrace of tech companies, particularly the industry leaders. Apple Inc. and Microsoft Corp. both have market values of more than $1 trillion and, based on various valuation metrics, are the most expensive they've been in at least a decade. Google parent Alphabet Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. are closing in on the $1 trillion mark as well:So if public tech stocks were cheap in early 2016, but private tech companies were expensive, the roles seem to have reversed. This may well set the scene for acquisitions instead of IPOs. Private tech companies that can't attain the scale or the growth needed to become viable on their own may find their best course of action is to sell to a large public company. This seems to be happening at this very moment: On Wednesday, GrubHub Inc. shares soared amid reports that the company is exploring strategic options, including a sale, as the cash-burning meal-delivery industry seemed poised for consolidation. Takeovers may be particularly appealing to big companies with lofty valuations but limited growth potential; they can use their expensive shares to scoop up promising private companies at relative bargains.As 2020 plays out, some private tech companies may still end up as public entities, only it will be accomplished through acquisitions rather than IPOs.To contact the author of this story: Conor Sen at csen9@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Greiff at jgreiff@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Conor Sen is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He is a portfolio manager for New River Investments in Atlanta and has been a contributor to the Atlantic and Business Insider.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Uber Adjusts App in California as Response to New Labor Law
    Bloomberg

    Uber Adjusts App in California as Response to New Labor Law

    (Bloomberg) -- Uber Technologies Inc. made changes to its ride-hailing app in California, tweaking fares and features to respond to a new state law designed to reclassify gig economy workers as employees.Changes for passengers include a shift from showing upfront pricing on trips to showing an estimated price range, the ability to schedule rides with favorite drivers and adjustments to a rewards program. For drivers, the revamp includes an end to flat surge pricing and the ability to quickly see how much they will make on each ride.Critically, drivers won’t get punished for rejecting trips they don’t want to make. Uber included a cautionary note, however, that drivers shouldn’t refuse trips solely to avoid certain neighborhoods as doing so would violate the company’s policy and California law.While the San Francisco-based company announced many of the changes last month, a Wednesday morning email to California riders heralded they were now live and explained that the changes were “due to a new state law.” The labor law, Assembly Bill 5, went into effect a week ago. Uber and Postmates sued the state last week and on Wednesday asked a federal judge in Los Angeles to block the law.Uber, along with Lyft Inc. and DoorDash Inc., is also working to put an initiative on California’s November ballot that would roll back the law while guaranteeing minimum pay of $21 an hour and some benefits for drivers. A group backed by the companies said it began collecting signatures this week for the ballot initiative. It has until June to collect the necessary number to qualify for this year’s election.While Uber has publicly downplayed the impact of A.B. 5, some analysts have said it’s a concern. Prices for California rides could increase as much as 30% as a result of the new law, according to industry estimates.(Updates with legal filing in the fourth paragraph.)\--With assistance from Joel Rosenblatt.To contact the reporter on this story: Lizette Chapman in San Francisco at lchapman19@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Mark Milian at mmilian@bloomberg.net, Molly SchuetzFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Delta CEO to Boeing: 'Don't lose sight of the future' following 737 Max problems
    Yahoo Finance

    Delta CEO to Boeing: 'Don't lose sight of the future' following 737 Max problems

    Delta CEO Ed Bastian says Boeing needs to get the 737 Max back in the air even though Delta doesn't fly the plane because industry needs Boeing to work on future technology and innovation.

  • Bloomberg

    JPMorgan Boosts Annual Fee on Chase Sapphire Reserve Card

    (Bloomberg) -- The popular Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card is about to get more expensive.JPMorgan Chase & Co. is boosting the annual fee for customers to $550 from $450 as it adds new perks with partners such as DoorDash and Lyft Inc., according to bank spokeswoman Ashley Dodd. For new cardholders, the increased annual fee will go into effect on Jan. 12, while existing customers will pay the new fee once their cards renew starting April 1.The increase follows a move by rival American Express Co. in 2017, when the company raised the fee on its Platinum card to $550 after adding benefits like a $200 annual Uber credit to its bevy of benefits. The two firms have been battling for premium millennial customers since 2016, when JPMorgan debuted the Sapphire Reserve.JPMorgan said Tuesday that it’s adding the perk of a year of lower DoorDash fees, and on Wednesday said it’ll give Sapphire Reserve customers $120 in statement credits for the food-delivery service. The bank also will partner with Lyft to offer Sapphire Reserve members a free year of Lyft Pink, a new monthly membership program from the ride-sharing app, as well as 10 points per dollar spent with the company, Dodd said.The bank is trying to lure new customers by targeting services that are surging in popularity. JPMorgan said customers more than doubled their spending on food-delivery services in the past year, with the average person ordering in a least once a month. Most Sapphire Reserve customers use ride-hailing apps at least once a week, according to a person with knowledge of the matter who asked not to be identified discussing internal data.Since JPMorgan introduced the luxury card, industry watchers have wondered how the bank could make money on it while still offering generous benefits like three points per dollar spent on dining and travel, which can be redeemed for more than one cent per point. Analysts at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. estimated in 2016 that the bank wouldn’t break even on its investment in the card for more than five years.Many of the world’s biggest card issuers have been scaling back perks and introductory offers in recent months as the industry begins to prepare for an eventual downturn in consumer credit. Last year, Citigroup Inc. discontinued free trip insurance and price-protection guarantees on its U.S. cards, and AmEx’s chief executive officer said last month that the war for premium consumers has begun to level off.(Updates with customer-spending details in fifth paragraph.)\--With assistance from Lizette Chapman.To contact the reporters on this story: Michelle F. Davis in New York at mdavis194@bloomberg.net;Jenny Surane in New York at jsurane4@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael J. Moore at mmoore55@bloomberg.net, Daniel Taub, Dan ReichlFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Is Lyft (LYFT) Outperforming Other Computer and Technology Stocks This Year?
    Zacks

    Is Lyft (LYFT) Outperforming Other Computer and Technology Stocks This Year?

    Is (LYFT) Outperforming Other Computer and Technology Stocks This Year?

  • Delta Air Lines shows off its smarter travel app, an exoskeleton and more at CES
    TechCrunch

    Delta Air Lines shows off its smarter travel app, an exoskeleton and more at CES

    Now, the airline industry is also getting in this game, as Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian used his first CES keynote to show off his company's efforts to use technology to improve the flying experience. Bastian showed off the company's new vision for its Fly Delta app, for example, which is maybe the most important touchpoint between the airline and passengers today. In practice, that means the company will soon launch a new feature that tells you when it's your time to board, for example.

  • Uber and Hyundai Unveil Flying Car Model for Future Air Taxi Service
    Bloomberg

    Uber and Hyundai Unveil Flying Car Model for Future Air Taxi Service

    (Bloomberg) -- Uber Technologies Inc. is working on a flying car with Hyundai Motor Co., the first automaker to buy into Uber’s dream for a network of air taxis dotting the skies of major cities.The two companies outlined their partnership Monday at the CES technology conference and plan to show off a full-scale model of the vehicle this week on the trade show floor in Las Vegas. Hyundai’s aerial taxi would be able to take off and land vertically, accommodate four passengers and cruise at up to 200 miles per hour. It would be fully electric with a range of 60 miles.The concept is similar to those designed by Boeing Co. and a handful of other companies in collaboration with Uber Elevate, the ride-hailing company’s aerial division. In addition to sci-fi ventures, the group also oversees Uber helicopter rides, which are available in New York City. Uber has said it will conduct the first public demonstration of a flying car this year and allow customers to book aerial rides by 2023.In more terrestrial pursuits, Uber said earlier Monday that it’ll start selling bus tickets through its app in Las Vegas, making it the second city to sign up for a public transit program the company introduced last year. Customers in the city will see public transit as one of the options in the Uber app, alongside car rides. They can then plan their route and purchase tickets for the same price they would pay using traditional methods. Riders will be able to use the tickets when their phone is offline. Uber expects to introduce the feature to additional cities around the world in the coming months.Selling bus tickets is the latest deviation from Uber’s core ride-hailing business, part of a larger strategy to encourage customers to open the app more frequently. The company sees increased usage as a way to drive people to other services, including delivery of meals or groceries, rentals of electric bicycles or scooters and someday, flying car rides.The company’s transit partnership with Las Vegas is nearly identical to an arrangement it made last year with Denver, the first place where Uber offered public transit ticketing. While there are just two cities that support ticket sales through the app, Uber and its main U.S. competitor, Lyft Inc., both display public transit routes for many more places.David Reich, Uber’s head of transit, acknowledged that the feature may deal a blow to Uber’s main business among cost-conscious customers. He said the trade-off is worth it if people learn to use Uber more regularly and trust it to offer comprehensive transportation information. “Sometimes they’ll take something other than Uber, and that’s OK,” Reich said.Las Vegas will get a new transit option as soon as this year, courtesy of Elon Musk. A startup founded by the billionaire, called Boring Co., broke ground last year on a tunnel beneath the Las Vegas Convention Center, where CES is held. Musk plans to pack riders into vehicles designed by Tesla Inc. zooming through the narrow tunnel. Reich said Uber is open to conversations with Musk but that there’s currently no plan in place to sell tickets for Boring Co.’s Loop transit system.For the flying car project, Uber is working with NASA and a half-dozen manufacturers, including Textron Inc.’s Bell and Joby Aviation. The arrangement with Hyundai stands out because the automotive giant could produce air vehicles at “rates unseen” in the aerospace industry, said Eric Allison, the head of Uber Elevate. High volume would, in theory, decrease the price per trip and make an air taxi network financially viable, he said.Uber said it’ll provide partners with airspace support services, connections to ground transportation and a large base of customers. The companies will collaborate on finding places for the vehicles to take off and land, with Uber likely leveraging existing relationships with real estate companies including Hillwood Properties and Signature Flight Support.While Uber has held talks with the Federal Aviation Administration, the effort is likely to face heavy scrutiny from the regulator over logistics for takeoff and landing, noise and safety concerns. Hyundai said its vehicle will require a human pilot initially and eventually operate autonomously. Neither Hyundai nor Uber provided a timeline for dispensing with human pilots.The move represents a pop of innovation for Hyundai, which, like other car manufacturers, has been hit by changing consumer habits that favor access over ownership and a preference for vehicles not powered by gasoline. For Uber, the arrangement expedites ongoing efforts to evolve from a ride-hailing company to a de facto global transportation and logistics provider. It may also offer a welcome distraction from Uber’s stock price, which has slipped about 30% since its disappointing initial public offering last year.(Updates with flying car news starting in the first paragraph.)To contact the author of this story: Lizette Chapman in San Francisco at lchapman19@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Milian at mmilian@bloomberg.net, Anne VanderMeyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Market Exclusive

    Market Morning: Microsoft vs North Korea, Uber vs California, Ghosn vs Japan, Rioters vs US Embassy

    Microsoft to the Rescue From North Korean Hackers Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), besides having a skyrocketing stock price, is now responsible for taking over 50 websites it has accused North Korean hackers of taking over in order to steal highly sensitive information from US computers. A court gave the tech giant the mandate to take over the […]The post Market Morning: Microsoft vs North Korea, Uber vs California, Ghosn vs Japan, Rioters vs US Embassy appeared first on Market Exclusive.

  • Economic Data Deluge
    Zacks

    Economic Data Deluge

    Economic Data Deluge

  • Auld Lang Syne to a Banner Stock Market Year
    Zacks

    Auld Lang Syne to a Banner Stock Market Year

    The labor market has provided a big boost to consumer confidence this year, which has far surpassed business investment in terms of domestic economic strength.

  • Uber, Postmates sue to block California gig worker law, claiming it's unconstitutional
    Reuters

    Uber, Postmates sue to block California gig worker law, claiming it's unconstitutional

    In a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles federal court on Monday, the companies and two app-based drivers said the law, which would make it harder for gig economy companies to qualify their workers as independent contractors rather than employees, was irrational, vague and incoherent. The office of California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a statement on Monday it was reviewing the complaint. The law was signed by California Governor Gavin Newsom in September and has garnered national attention, largely owing to the size of California's workforce and the state's leadership role in establishing policies that are frequently adopted by other states.

  • Uber, Postmates Sue California to Block Gig-Worker Law
    Bloomberg

    Uber, Postmates Sue California to Block Gig-Worker Law

    (Bloomberg) -- Uber Technologies Inc. and Postmates Inc. sued the state of California, alleging that a labor rights law set to go into effect this week is unconstitutional.The lawsuit filed Monday in Los Angeles federal court is a preemptive strike against the state’s landmark measure designed to ensure gig workers receive employment protections. Uber and Postmates argue the legislative process around California’s Assembly Bill 5 unfairly targeted gig economy companies while favoring other industries and that the law will threaten workers’ flexibility.The passage of A.B. 5, which takes effect Wednesday, has set in motion a bitter dispute about the rights of Uber drivers, food couriers and other people who derive their income from apps made in Silicon Valley working as independent contractors.Uber and Postmates say it’s arbitrary that direct salespeople, travel agents, grant writers, construction truck drivers, commercial fishermen and others are exempted from the law.“There is no rhyme or reason to these nonsensical exemptions, and some are so ill-defined or entirely undefined that it is impossible to discern what they include or exclude,” according to the complaint.The impact of A.B. 5 -- and the backlash against it -- extends beyond the technology industry. Two organizations representing freelance journalists brought a legal challenge this month, saying the law restricts free speech and the news media by effectively limiting the number of articles a contract journalist can write for the same publication each year. The trucking industry, in its own lawsuit, says the measure would make it “impractical if not impossible” to use contractors for services across state lines.But tech companies have far more at stake financially if they are forced to provide overtime pay, health care and other benefits to the armies of contract laborers they rely on to drive customers around and deliver food. With their business models threatened, DoorDash Inc., Lyft Inc. and Uber have said they’ll spend a combined $90 million on a campaign asking California voters to overturn the law in the next election. Lyft and Uber have each committed to turning a profit by the end of 2021, a promise that could be unattainable if they’re forced to reclassify workers in their home state.Read More: Uber, Lyft, DoorDash Put $90 Million to Possible Ballot WarThe labor issue looms as a risk for Postmates as it heads toward a planned initial public offering. The food delivery company agreed to pay about $11.5 million to settle misclassification claims brought by couriers in California. Last month, a judge expressed “significant concerns” with the deal and sought more information.In Monday’s complaint, Uber, Postmates and one driver from each company who are also plaintiffs said they want a judge to block A.B. 5 from being implemented. They alleged that the law violates guarantees of equal protection afforded by both the U.S. Constitution and the California Constitution.The companies take particular aim at the sponsor of the bill, Lorena Gonzalez, who they say has spoken forcefully about targeting gig-economy firms. In a November tweet, Gonzalez, a Democrat from San Diego, urged four of the state’s biggest cities to pursue court orders to enforce the law as soon as it takes effect.”The one clear thing we know about Uber is they will do anything to try to exempt themselves from state regulations that make us all safer and their driver employees self-sufficient,” she said in response to Monday’s lawsuit. “In the meantime, Uber chief executives will continue to become billionaires while too many of their drivers are forced to sleep in their cars.”Signed by California Governor Gavin Newsom in September, A.B. 5 says workers can generally only be considered contractors if they perform duties outside the usual course of a company’s business. The law adopted a more straightforward test than previously existed in California law to determine which workers qualify for employee status and the attendant benefits.Legal experts say the law weakens gig economy companies’ arguments that their drivers are independent contractors, and will make it much harder for them to continue denying California drivers benefits including business expense reimbursements that would ordinarily be available to employees.”This complaint is an attempt to dress up the companies’ political arguments against A.B. 5 in constitutional clothing,” Charlotte Garden, a professor at Seattle University School of Law, said in an email. The lawsuit is probably dead-on-arrival, she said, based on courts’ recognition “that legislative line-drawing is inevitable, and legislatures have to be able to tackle problems piecemeal.”Uber has acknowledged the higher hurdle A.B. 5 poses for the company, but has said the law is no “magic wand” that changes gig workers’ status on Jan. 1. Instead, the company has argued that the fight will need to be resolved by courts.California Attorney General Xavier Becerra’s office is reviewing Monday’s complaint, a representative said. The case is Olson v. State of California, 2:19-cv-10956, U.S. District Court, Central District of California (Los Angeles).(Updates with state attorney general’s office reviewing complaint)To contact the reporters on this story: Joel Rosenblatt in San Francisco at jrosenblatt@bloomberg.net;Ellen Huet in San Francisco at ehuet4@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: David Glovin at dglovin@bloomberg.net, ;Mark Milian at mmilian@bloomberg.net, Peter BlumbergFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Uber a Step Closer to Buying Middle Eastern Rival Careem
    Zacks

    Uber a Step Closer to Buying Middle Eastern Rival Careem

    Uber (UBER) receives conditional approval from the ECA for its impending acquisition of Careem.

  • The Year in Technology: Eight Charts for 2019
    Bloomberg

    The Year in Technology: Eight Charts for 2019

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Technology continues to change everything in both hopeful and harmful ways. As in prior years, Bloomberg Opinion is assessing the eight top themes in technology for 2019 and what they tell us about the industry and beyond. Here’s the list, in reverse order of importance:​​​​​​8) Fractures Inside Tech Companies: It’s hard to know how widespread it is, but there are more signs of tech worker discontent with their bosses and with each other. Some technology employees are speaking up about what they believe are workplace inequities or destructive company decisions in areas such as harmful online activity, environmental damage and tech products’ use by government entities. In a potent symbol of the fissures of ideals meeting the reality of large organizations, Google management ended its weekly question-and-answer session with employees. 7) Unchecked Data Collection and Control:  The internet economy has become an arms race for ever-more inventive and aggressive human surveillance by companies, workplaces, educational institutions and an unseen web of middlemen. There is little accountability or true consent from those involved and too little attention on balancing benefits and risks. At the same time, citizens are reckoning with governments and law enforcement that have honed technology techniques to influence opinion, surveil critics, quash dissent or harness potentially problematic tools.6) Apple’s Year of Transition (Maybe):  Apple Inc. started 2019 stung by long-gestating changes in smartphone buying habits in China and elsewhere. The year ends with Apple’s market value hitting a record $1.3 trillion as investors believe it is reinventing itself with internet add-ons and hardware other than the iPhone. I give Apple credit for finding fresh ways to grow. But new smartphone sales are likely in permanent stagnation, and other companies will be more influential in shaping the future.5) TikTok Is Everything Good and Bad:  The suddenly popular short-video app from China’s ByteDance Inc. launched a thousand memes, minted hit songs and gave us a pop culture treasure that no one hated (I think). Nothing is good and pure in 2019, though. TikTok has been forced to confront how it handles online misinformation, censorship in the app and dangers to young people. ByteDance also is part of the tug of war between the U.S. and China over the future of the internet and the global order (see No. 4). And TikTok, which is spending a fortune to land users, may not defy internet gravity forever.4) Tech and Its Fissures Go Global:  Tensions between the U.S. and China reflected a tug of war over technology and everything else. The two superpowers are increasingly diverging in tech with potentially profound implications. In India, Southeast Asia, Africa and other spots, low-cost smartphones and improving mobile internet are bringing millions of new people online. Locals are creating novel tech habits and stars. And in some cases, the internet newcomers are just as unprepared as counterparts in richer countries for the downsides of technology.3) Amazon’s Might and Blind Spots:  The milestone of Amazon.com Inc. handling about half of its deliveries showed the company’s skill at transformation — and its congenital inability to reckon with its shortcomings. There has been more attention on the pressures faced by Amazon warehouse workers and delivery drivers; the potentially harmful products sold on its site; environmental damage from e-commerce habits it helped ingrain; privacy compromises of company software and devices; and how Amazon flexes its power to its advantage. Amazon may believe the attention is unfair and wrong, but that doesn’t negate the downsides of the company’s products, strategy choices and hubris. 2) The Humbling for Unicorns:  Uber Technologies Inc. and Lyft Inc. became the symbols for tech unicorns that landed with a thud as investors doubted their economic models and strategies. That suggested elite technology newcomers have been overvalued for years. Unglamorous business software startups have typically done well, although they are untested by economic stresses and their high valuations may not be justified. WeWork, the office leasing startup that encapsulated every 2010s tech excess, flipped from hyped to nearly dead. It’s possible that entire categories — on-demand services, new breed retailers and streaming video, for example — may prove mirages of investor cash and regulatory loopholes. 1) Can We Have Tech Without the Dark Side?  Technology has brought us useful and surprising products that reshape how people live and businesses function. But as with big energy companies, those valued products also are harmful. And as energy companies did, tech companies weren’t honest with themselves and the public about the trade-offs.Once naivete about technology went away, all the standard operating procedures were open to questioning — unchecked digital surveillance, computers that decide what information people see or jobs they get and companies’ choices to tolerate harm in favor of prioritizing other goals. Many Americans, including some technologists and political leaders, are worried about technology’s power and its side effects. A version of this has been the top theme in each of my last two annual roundups, and it remains the existential question: Can all of us — citizens, elected officials and technologists — nurture the good elements of tech while mitigating the downsides? To contact the author of this story: Shira Ovide at sovide@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Daniel Niemi at dniemi1@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Shira Ovide is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering technology. She previously was a reporter for the Wall Street Journal.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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