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Uber sued by thousands of Australian taxi drivers in class action

Key Points
  • Uber has been sued by an Australian law firm on behalf of about 6,000 taxi and chartered drivers across four Australian states.
  • Andrew Watson, Maurice Blackburn national head of Class Actions accused the world's largest ride-hailing company of operating illegally and causing them financial harm.
  • The loss-making ride hailing firm is planning to list in the United States at a valuation of up to $91.5 billion in an initial public offering.
An investor walks out of the Uber IPO roadshow with documents in hand at a hotel in New York, April 30, 2019.
Jenna Moon | Reuters

An Australian law firm has filed a class action against Uber on behalf of thousands of taxi and chartered drivers in Australia, accusing the world's largest ride-hailing company of operating illegally and causing them financial harm.

The lawsuit, filed at the Victoria Supreme Court by law firm Maurice Blackburn, was brought on behalf of about 6,000 drivers and taxi license owners from across four Australian states, the lawyers said in a statement.

"This will be a landmark case regarding the alleged illegal operations of Uber in Australia and the devastating impact that has had on the lives of hard-working and law-abiding citizens here," said Andrew Watson, Maurice Blackburn national head of Class Actions.

Uber representatives did not immediately returned an email seeking comment.

Uber has proved popular with the Australian public, even in the face of pushback from the taxi industry and many local authorities.

The lawyers allege Uber knew its operations in Australia were illegal for a number of reasons, including that it "adopted a policy to operate in any market where the regulator had tacitly approved doing so by failing to take direct enforcement action."

The loss-making ride hailing firm is planning to list in the United States at a valuation of up to $91.5 billion in an initial public offering.