In this photo taken Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014, people go past the headquarters of Uber in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

Uber ordered to pay $7.6 million penalty, found in ‘contempt’ by regulator

A California regulatory body voted unanimously Thursday morning to fine Uber $7.6 million for failing to disclose data to the California Public Utilities Commission.

Uber officials told the San Francisco Examiner the company will pay all fines.

In its decision, the CPUC also found Uber, by way of its subsidiary, Rasier-CA, in contempt of the commission.

The company was found to be in contempt because “Rasier-CA failed to comply with the laws of this state and further misled this Commission by an artifice or false statement of law by asserting multiple legal defenses that were unsound,” wrote Robert Mason, a CPUC administrative law judge, in his decision.

Uber said it has now submitted all requested data to the CPUC and disputes how its fines were calculated.

“While we are disappointed bythe decision, we look forward to making our case to the California Courtof Appeals,” spokeswoman Eva Behrend wrote in an email. “In the meantime, we will pay the fine and continue to work in good faith with the Commission.”

Regulators requested Uber share data on rides accepted through its app, along with rides denied, zip codes of rides, miles traveled and the amount paid.

In a statement, the CPUC wrote it sought data from Uber, and other Transportation Network Companies like Lyft, to discover “whether TNC services are being provided in a non-discriminatory manner enabling equal access to all, and whether TNC services are being provided in a manner that promotes public safety.”

Despite Uber’s statement, the CPUC disagrees that Uber has substantially complied with reporting requirements.

Mason wrote in his decision that although Uber did provide data, it provided so much data, in such great volume, as to make it a herculean task to sift through — and that when the CPUC asked Uber for more specific information, the company did not comply.

“Rasier-CA’s efforts are more akin to discovery dumps of thousands of documents on an adversary, a practice that is disfavored in California,” Mason wrote.

The CPUC fined Rasier-CA, a subsidiary of Uber. But in legal filings, CPUC administrative law judge Robert Mason argued there were few material differences between Rasier and Uber.

Uber is valued by investors at as much as $60 billion, according to Bloomberg News.


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