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Uber files: How a tech firm persuaded UK ministers

IFM-Uber-Mark MacGann-image
Since the time Uber arrived in London in 2012, it has ruthlessly been opposed by black cab drivers.

Mark MacGann, the 52-year-old career lobbyist, who worked for Uber from 2014 to 2016, has admitted that he was the whistleblower of the 124,000 corporate data known as The Uber Files that were given to The Guardian.

The stock of internal emails, texts, and documents of 182 gigabytes was obtained by The Guardian and shared with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and its media partners around the world.

It demonstrates how the ride-hailing start-up transformed into a global giant by utilizing technology, skirting legal requirements, and engaging in aggressive lobbying with governments during the period of its drastic expansion.

The files contain 124,000 records from the period 2013- 2017 — which contains around 83,000 internal company emails, memos, presentations, and WhatsApp messages.

Here’s what exactly the leaked documents reveal:

Leaked documents show how Uber fought limits on its ride-hailing business in the UK by meeting with top ministers in secret, during the time of its rapid expansion.

According to records, the lobbying strategy’s “ultimate goal” was former London Mayor Boris Johnson.

In the UK, the company’s behind-the-scenes campaign was mostly about speaking to the most important pertinent stakeholders. The files mentioned several meetings between the lobbyists and senior members of the then-government that went undeclared.

The meetings include several important individuals such as the current home secretary Priti Patel, Tory leadership contender Sajid Javid, and the newly sacked Cabinet Minister Michael Gove.

Moreover, since the time Uber arrived in London in 2012, it has ruthlessly been opposed by black cab drivers who have seen their fares being undercut and their livelihoods under constant threat.

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