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US: New York AG takes antitrust fight to proposed taxi rules

 |  November 11, 2014

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has reportedly sent a letter to New York City’s Taxi and Limousine Commission opposing proposed rules that aim to curb competition between ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft, and traditional taxi services.

BuzzFeed news reportedly broke the story that Schneiderman sent the letter warning of “serious antitrust issues” stemming from the proposed regulations. The TLC is considering rules that would force taxi companies to only dispatch drivers that are exclusively affiliated with that company, unless there is a formal agreement between two companies.

Reports say such rules would, for example, limit Lyft to dispatching its only 10 drivers exclusively affiliated with Lyft in the city.

But according to Schneiderman, those rules would promote anticompetitive collusion between competing taxi companies. “Requiring agreements between competitors raises serious antitrust issues,” the letter states. “Ultimately the proposed rule is likely to lead to market consolidation around a small number of the best-capitalized and most well-known services, whether large and existing firms or well-financed newcomers.”

”This market concentration will hurt consumers,” he said.

While Uber could possibly stand to benefit from the rules due to its market strength, reports say the company has spoken out against the proposals “We don’t regulate competitors out of business,” Uber general manager Josh Mohrer said in an interview last week.

Full content: Buzzfeed

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