Uber To Pay £149m In Settlement With Australian Taxi Drivers


Uber to pay £149m in settlement with Australian taxi drivers who alleged it used illegal tactics to establish itself in the country

Uber is to pay Australian taxi drivers 271.8 million Australian dollars ($178m, £140m) to settle a lawsuit demanding compensation for lost revenues when the firm “aggressively” moved into the Australian market.

The class-action lawsuit had been planned to go to trial beginning on Monday in the supreme court of Victoria but a judge vacated the trial after the ride-hailing firm agreed to the deal.

Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, representing more than 8,000 hire-car owners and taxi drivers, said the settlement followed five “gruelling” years of legal battles with the San Francisco-based firm.

The drivers argued they lost income and licence values due to Uber’s aggressive tactics in establishing itself in the market, at a time when there were no regulations governing ride-share apps.

Uber, app, car
Image credit: Uber

‘Game was up’

Uber tried to deny drivers compensation by any means, according to Maurice Blackburn principal lawyer Michael Donnelly.

“To our group members in the Australian taxi and hire-car industry, your story is an Australian story,” Donelly told reporters outside the court on Monday.

“When Uber rolled into town, they said the game was up and it was your turn to be disrupted in the new economy – but you knew right from wrong, legal from illegal, and you took action to defend yourselves.”

The supreme court must formally approve the settlement before any payout can be made.


Uber established itself in Australia using unlicensed cars and unaccredited drivers in a “conspiracy by unlawful means” in which they misled regulators and evaded scrutiny by authorities, lawyers said.

Uber said the lawsuit dealt with “legacy issues” and that ride-share firms were now regulated in every Australian state.

“Since 2018, Uber has made significant contributions into various state-level taxi compensation schemes, and with today’s proposed settlement we put these legacy issues firmly in our past,” the company said in a statement.

In July 2022 a trove of internal documents leaked by former senior Uber executive Mark MacGann showed how Uber had used aggressive tactics to establish itself around the world from 2013 to 2017 under then-chief executive Travis Kalanick.


Kalanick left the company in 2017 following a series of public scandals.

Other efforts to gain compensation from Uber have proven less successful, with a Paris commercial court last December finding in favour of Uber in a lawsuit brought by 2,500 taxi drivers in France.

The drivers had been seeking 455m euros ($495m, £389m).