Uber has courted controversy since it first launched in 2009. Initially, it faced a wave of backlash from the taxicab industry, which recognized the burgeoning ride-hailing app as a legitimate threat to business. However, this was well before the company was anything close to the $60-plus billion behemoth it is today, and mostly painted the irked taxicab commissions as curmudgeons threatened by any type of newfangled startup encroaching on its territory. Things got shady pretty quickly, though.
As it assumed the throne as the world's pre-eminent ride-hailing service, it was discovered that the company was engaging in some very dirty tactics in order to screw over up-and-coming competitors. Specifically, in 2014, it was reported that senior Uber employees were ordering cars via competing apps like Gett and Lyft, only to deliberately cancel them just as the drivers were nearing their pickup location in an effort to disrupt service and frustrate drivers by wasting their time. They then would allegedly follow up by reaching out to these specific drivers in an attempt to convince them to work for Uber instead.