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Uber on Nevada: '1,000 jobs just disappeared overnight'

Ari Levy, Todd Miyazawa and Ted Kemp
Lyft and Uber ridesharing car apps
Andrew Harrer (L) | Chris Ratcliffe (R) | Getty Images

Uber on Thursday heavily criticized a court decision that stopped its operations in Nevada, but said it would not be giving up on the state.

San Francisco-based Uber, which was valued at $18 billion in its most recent financing, on Tuesday was hit by a preliminary injunction from a Washoe County judge that temporarily prevents the ride-sharing firm from operating statewide.

Uber characterized the ruling as a holiday burden for workers in Nevada.

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"It's unfortunate that Nevada is the first state in the nation to temporarily suspend Uber. That means nearly 1,000 jobs just disappeared overnight, and those residents lost their ability to earn a living," Eva Behrend, a spokesperson for the company, told CNBC.

"On Thanksgiving, when Nevadans should be celebrating with family, now many are worried about how they're going to pay their bills," she said.

Uber has claimed in the past that its drivers make more than the drivers of regular taxis, though Uber faced strikes in September and October from drivers protesting their income.

"We remain committed to working with Nevada's leaders to create a permanent regulatory framework that affords Nevadans the flexibility and innovation offered by Uber," Behrend said.

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Uber has been hit by a wave of bad news in recent weeks. Its top rival Lyft on Tuesday confirmed to CNBC that it has benefited from the negative press faced by Uber.

Lyft said in an email to that "last week was our biggest week ever in terms of rides." The San Francisco-based company declined to provide specific details. The week of Halloween was previously the biggest in the company's history, a spokesperson said.

BuzzFeed ran a story on Nov. 17, citing comments Uber Senior Vice President Emil Michael made at a dinner in New York about the possibility of doing opposition research on reporters. He singled out PandoDaily's Sarah Lacy, who subsequently wrote a blog post and appeared on CNBC's "Squawk Alley " and other networks speaking out against Uber's tactics and calling on the company to fire Michael.

Uber Chief Executive Officer Travis Kalanick apologized in a series of 14 Tweets, but the damage was done, and the uninstalls were underway. Michael, who also apologized for the remarks, remains employed.

Additionally, Uber has faced a barrage of criticism for a feature called "God View," which supposedly allows Uber employees to stalk riders, thanks to the app's location awareness.

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Lyft, which is a screaming success by any metric—except in comparison to Uber—stayed silent on the matter throughout the week, and declined to provide data to or offer a comment. The company's email on Tuesday pointed to a message that Lyft sent to users with the headline, "Thanks for being you." Lyft, known for its pink-mustachioed vehicles, tells new riders in the note that it's fine to fist bump with drivers. It also informs them that they can sit in the front or back seat.

"We just sent out an email to address questions that new users typically have around Lyft in a fun way in light of a recent uptick in new user sign-ups," a Lyft spokesperson said, in the email to

Lyft knows about Uber's feistiness as much as anyone. Uber has shown that it's willing to use highly aggressive tactics to recruit Lyft drivers, and Kara Swisher reported recently in a Vanity Fair article that Kalanick admitted to trying to quash Lyft's fundraising efforts.