Uber's VAT-avoidance means it owes millions to EU states and will face huge cuts to future EU profits


Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/12/21/ubers-vat-avoidance-means-it.html


Uber should also be sanctioned under anti-dumping legislation as it is trying to force other companies out of business by selling below cost.
Also, if EU countries fail to tax Uber this will constitute an illegal State Aid.
I admit - they are monopoly-chasing leeches and I want to see them stopped and replaced by a legit service (which, surprise surprise, would cost as much or more than existing ones.)


One can see why Uber is so hot on autonomous vehicles, even though that would mean they’d have to take on the expense of owning and running the vehicles. Doesn’t sound like they’ll last long enough to get there, which makes their investment in it rather strange, though.
What’s rather disturbing in all this is how many US cities have apparently gotten rid of their public transportation and subsidized (or further subsidized, as it turns out), Uber rides instead. That alone didn’t sit right with me, but when Uber goes under, people are going to be stranded, even if another ride-share company steps up to take their place, because that company is likely to not be subsidizing the cost of the rides.


The Free Market will get us out of this mess that the Free Market got us in to!


If you can convince people to drive for Uber in their own conventional vehicle, then surely you can convince people to let their autonomous vehicle drive for Uber.


One of the problems I have with Uber is their continued contempt shown for laws and regulations. Some of these may be regulations that need to be changed so may not but far to often their response seems to be “We do not like these rules so they don’t apply to us” they seem to be very much in line with a Trump world view.


And I thought Uber Vat was the sequel to Ubu Roi.


Thank you!


The problem being that with the advent of autonomous vehicles, car ownership is expected to take a real hit.


Uber likes to claim that it’s just an intermediary between independent drivers and riders, like an ebay for transportation.

If they really believe this, then they should do what bona-fide intermediaries do, and let the drivers set their own prices.

Doing that would solve lots of their legal and PR problems, from running afoul of independent contractor laws to customer complaints about surge pricing.

So why don’t they do it? I suspect it’s because Uber knows that the price drivers are likely to charge is higher than the price riders are willing to pay, once Uber takes its percentage. The only way to get the two sides to meet is to either artificially limit the number of drivers (which is what municipal taxi medallions do), or become the only game in town so drivers have no choice but to take Uber’s prices if they want to find riders.

It’s possible that Uber can eventually solve this problem by building out its own fleet of self-driving cars, but that’s still years away. In the meanwhile, the company is a house of cards, requiring enormous ongoing capital infusions to stay in business. They can keep it up as long as enough investors believe they have a shot at becoming profitable someday. But if there’s ever a whiff of trouble in raising money, the whole thing is likely to come crashing down remarkably fast.


Take your Uber business to the next level! Buy an afforable autonomous vehicle optimized for Uber service straight from Uber and let it make money while you sit on your couch!

The target audience wouldn’t be the same, but I am not so sure it isn’t there.


I could see either Uber offering payments that didn’t quite make up for the wear and tear on the vehicle, and/or another company coming in, eliminating the middleman and offering the same service for less…


Sure, maybe, but it’ll take quite a while for the available stock of privately owned autonomous vehicles to increase to the point that you can rely on that instead of having to run your own fleet of them. There definitely won’t be enough time before the money runs out for that to happen. Their best bet for not having to become the largest fleet manager in the world will be to get an auto manufacturer (or several) to partner with them to own and maintain the vehicles for them.

Personally I think the autonomous vehicle thing is mostly just a diversion to distract from the monopoly play. The real inflection point for them (in the US at least) is going to be whether or not they can outlast Lyft. If Lyft goes under I expect that Uber will raise rates while dropping the proportion of the fare that goes to the driver significantly.


It’s not Pere Ubu’s cookbook?


I think the target audience for that would be banks and institutional investors (pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, etc.).buying hundreds of cars and leasing them to Uber, similar to rolling stock leasing companies in the UK railway industry.


Kalanik is probably paying himself some hefty bonuses to lose $2B of their money a year. Uber has been quite public with their goal of becoming a monopoly. It’s quite possible that monopoly-seeking is a distraction from the actual goal, which is to fleece the rubes venture capitalists.


So, if the plan is that Uber runs a ponzi scheme with VC money, all the while using millions of dollars to subsidize cab rides for people who, honestly, couldn’t otherwise afford them, then at some point, failing completely (no doubt due to “government interference”). But in the mean time, at least having given a lot of people convenient rides, and employed (albiet shittily) people who might have otherwise been unemployed. Something tells me Uber isn’t as much a “disruptive automotive tech innovator” as the only working model of social welfare, public transit and income redistribution in the Trump Era… /s*

*well more like defeated cynicism than sarcasm, but…yeah


:clap: :clap: :clap:

I mean, in reality I bet Kalanik think’s he’s super great and his company is super great and he’s going to take over the world. All I’m really saying is that if we put down oatmeal where the venture capitalists are we’d find slime mold growing in the shape of Uber.


Yeah, someone wth a large amount of capital being able to buy in bulk makes the most sense - whether the ride “sharing” service itself or some other corporation(s). You’d also need some third corporate entity to clean and maintain the vehicles - which could be Uber or a third party. If Uber is staying just software, then their role becomes diminished - groups with that kind of capital can manage their own payment systems - with Uber perhaps simply reduced to a ride-calling/scheduling layer for a whole variety of transportation options.


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