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Uber accuses Chicago of ‘backroom monopoly’ over exclusive bike-share deal with Lyft
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Uber accuses Chicago of ‘backroom monopoly’ over exclusive bike-share deal with Lyft

Chicago, IL — The city of Chicago faces lawsuit against Uber after allegedly giving exclusive ownership of the city’s bike-sharing services to Lyft, according to Uber’s lawsuit filed last Friday.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel signed the contract during his final City Council meeting in April. The deal aims to expand Divvy throughout the city.

Uber claims the deal to be ‘backroom monopoly’ as it could potentially lock out all of its bike-share competitors. One of those companies includes Jump, a dockless bike-share company seeking to do business in Chicago.

Furthermore, the suit seeks to void the city’s bike-share agreement. Uber claims that it could provide more dockless bikes than arranged under the contract. On top of that, they could bring bikes to all Chicago neighborhoods, not just neighborhoods with docking stations for the bikes.

In return for being one of the city’s exclusive dockless bike-share provider, Jump offers to invest $450 million in Chicago. The investment would include $60 million “community investment” and $30 million “infrastructure investment. Moreover, Jump claims it would add 500 jobs to the local economy.

That was a better deal, as stated by Uber’s lawsuit, which required Lyft to make a $50 million capital investment in order to add 10,500 bikes and 175 stations. Furthermore, the city would have approximately 16,500 bikes and 800 stations staffed by 200 more employees by the end of the rollout.

However, the Emanuel administration instead “chose to ignore transparency or proper vetting”.

Both city officials and Lyft representatives have not given any statements regarding the lawsuit.

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