The war of words between Lyft and Uber continues to escalate.
Following allegations that its drivers and employees were regularly hailing and canceling rides that they booked on its competitor’s service, Uber issued a statement claiming Lyft is guilty of the same actions. Furthermore, Uber claims these actions were taken after Lyft’s investors urged Uber to buy the company.
Yesterday Lyft alleged that it had identified what it believed to be 177 Uber employees who had canceled more than 5,000 rides in an effort to disrupt the operations of its ride-sharing service. Furthermore, Lyft reported many more instances in which Uber employees or drivers would book short rides in an attempt to recruit its drivers to the other side.
For what it’s worth, Lyft isn’t the first company to make that claim against Uber. Earlier this year, a black car service called Gett that competes against Uber in New York accused Uber of systematically hailing and canceling rides in what it called a “DDoS-style attack.”
But it appears turnabout is fair play. Today Uber accused Lyft of the same “shady tactics,” alleging that Lyft drivers and employees, including a cofounder, had canceled nearly 13,000 trips on Uber.
Furthermore, Uber provided some inside baseball about what’s happening behind the scenes between the two companies. It claims that Lyft investors have been urging Uber to buy its competitors, and that it had been warned Lyft would “go nuclear” if that didn’t happen.
The allegations come as the competitive environment has heated up between the two companies, as each tries to grab market share in a number of cities around the country. That means getting both passengers and drivers on board as demand heats up for transportation you can hail with a mobile app.
For instance, Lyft recently launched a new product in San Francisco called Lyft Line that allows multiple passengers to share and split a fare between them. But Uber announced its own competitive product the day before Lyft’s announcement.
We’ve reached out to Uber to find out how it’s counting the number of rides that it claims have been canceled, and have also asked Lyft for a counter-statement to Uber’s statement.
Uber’s full statement on Lyft’s claims is as follows:
Lyft’s claims against Uber are baseless and simply untrue. Furthermore Lyft’s own drivers and employees, including one of Lyft’s founders, have canceled 12,900 trips on Uber. But instead of providing the long list of questionable tactics that Lyft has used over the years, we are focusing on building and maintaining the best platform for both consumers and drivers.
These attacks from Lyft are unfortunate but somewhat expected. A number of Lyft investors have recently been pushing Uber to acquire Lyft. One of their largest shareholders recently warned that Lyft would “go nuclear” if we do not acquire them. We can only assume that the recent Lyft attacks are part of that strategy.
Lyft’s full response to the above:
Once again Uber is deceiving the public, now with false allegations and an attempt to deflect from their illegal cancel campaign.
Lyft has more than 100 investors, all of whom are extremely excited that Lyft is approaching IPO-level revenue. Our “nuclear” strategy is continuing to take market share with 30% month-over-month growth, while building the strongest community of drivers and passengers.