Taking on transportation giant Uber could prove to be a costly mistake for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Elevation Partners co-founder Roger McNamee said Thursday.
"The consumer demand for the Uber- and Lyft-kind of services is so great that any politician who gets in the way of that is really asking for trouble," McNamee said in a CNBC "Squawk Alley" interview. "Uber's success is really about consumers demanding the availability of Uber and Lyft cars wherever they are."
McNamee made his remarks after the city agreed not to cap the number of for-hire drivers while it studies how these services are impacting traffic and the environment in one of the world's largest cities.
"We're pleased to have reached an agreement with Mayor de Blasio's administration and the City Council to collaborate on a joint transportation study and to work together on ways to continue expanding economic opportunity, mobility and transportation access in the city," Uber's general manager for New York City, Josh Mohrer, said in a statement.
Nevertheless, McNamee added that Uber can afford to not be so aggressive in how it does business. "I look at the behavior of the company and I really do think that they have challenged people in ways that are unseemly and likely to backfire at some point," he said.
"These guys only have one approach and that seems to be sledgehammer to the head, and so far it's working, but I'm very uncomfortable with it."
McNamee also said that, due to its popularity, Uber can also afford to better pay its drivers and even increase its prices.
"This is not just a price play; it's a convenience play that has really changed people's lives and, like an iPhone, they will pay a premium over whatever they were paying before to have that instant access."
San Francisco-based Uber has been valued at more than $40 billion.