Uber, the ride-hailing company that has been accused of unfairly charging higher prices to customers in some cities, has filed a $1 billion antitrust suit against the major US companies that own or control the platforms that it uses.
In its lawsuit, Uber said that Uber is “trying to make Uber-like platforms a monopoly by imposing a price that is more than double that of similar competitors and by restricting the ability of competitors to offer more affordable rides”.
“The only way to compete with Uber is to raise prices,” the company said in a statement on Friday.
“It is not about raising prices to compete.
It is about reducing prices to create an even playing field for everyone.
We are taking the fight to the monopolists and the big corporations who control our rides.”
The lawsuit, filed on Monday in federal court in New York, seeks to overturn a number of the decisions by the Federal Trade Commission, the US Federal Trade Board and other agencies that have said Uber has not violated antitrust law.
In a statement, Uber did not deny that its price-setting platform is an “obscenely high price” and said it is “proud to be part of the American economy”.
The suit also said that “Uber-like” platforms such as UberEATS and UberPool have been “exploited to drive consumers into illegal and unsafe rides”.
It said it “does not endorse” the Uber services and the “company’s product is not regulated in any jurisdiction”.
“We have long been a leader in innovation and helping people move from driving to buying groceries, but the current economic environment and regulatory uncertainty have caused many of our competitors to leave the market,” Uber said.
“This lawsuit is not going to change that.”
The suit accuses Google, which owns or controls Google Wallet, and Facebook, which controls Facebook Messenger, of violating antitrust law by “negotiating for monopoly-like pricing and by charging prices that are far higher than that of competitors”.
Google, which is also one of the biggest technology companies in the world, has said it would fight the lawsuit.
“We are pleased that Uber has chosen to join us in our fight against this frivolous lawsuit,” Google said in an emailed statement.
“We will defend the law and vigorously defend any claims we may have against Uber.”
“We believe in the basic principle that competition is the foundation of our democracy, and the court should not force the courts to make it the default choice for consumers,” Facebook said.
“In the wake of the Supreme Court decision in Google Wallet v Google, we have long advocated for stronger competition, particularly in the marketplace for consumer-facing goods and services.
We have already made significant investments to support consumer innovation and competition in the consumer goods and entertainment industry, and we are proud to be a part of that effort.”
Google has been the target of antitrust suits before, but has generally rejected those claims.
Earlier this year, Uber settled with US regulators in the wake, after a US Federal Circuit court ruled that the company had to pay $680m (£468m) in a $6.6bn settlement.