The Uber-Taxi War: Bye-bye Yellow Cab?

City declines to retract letter to judge as taxi interests howl

crainsnewyork.comWhat one city lawyer told a court two years ago might seem an undisputable matter of record, but with Uber’s New York City operation and $10 billion worth of taxi medallions possibly hinging on the matter, it has suddenly become the subject of a heated legal battle.

Taxi medallion lenders and de Blasio administration lawyers are fighting over whether the Law Department’s Michelle Goldberg-Cahn told a judge in 2013 that electronic hails are not prearranged travel.

The administration’s position today is that e-hails–the essential element of Uber’s $50 billion valuation—are pre-arranged travel and thus not the exclusive domain of yellow cabs. Ms. Goldberg-Cahn wrote to a judge Aug. 11 that the city took that same position in the 2013 case, and that the medallion lenders are wrong to claim that she had taken the exact opposite stance. The city lawyer’s letter said such claims are “specious” and “disingenuous to say the least.”


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