‘Villain’ Uber Makes Progress in Bid to Appease London Regulator

Uber Technologies Inc.
is making progress in its bid to appease London’s transport regulator ahead of a critical court battle over its license to operate in the city.

The transport authority’s list of concerns with Uber has more than halved to 11 from 25 after it committed to governance changes and apologized for setting up hostile software, a lawyer for the ride-hailing app said at a hearing Monday. The trial to decide whether Uber is fit to operate a license in its biggest market outside the U.S. is scheduled for June 25.

Transport for London
banned the company from operating in the capital because of safety concerns, but allowed it to continue operating during its appeal. Uber has been keen to show it’s willing to do what it takes to win back its license, with Chief Executive Officer Dara Khosrowshahi jumping on a plane to London following news of the ban to begin patching up relations with transport regulators.

“The reaction has been one of repair and reform,” said Philip Kolvin, a lawyer for Uber.

Senior District Judge Emma Arbuthnot, however, asked if the changes were just a “smokescreen.”

“They were villains then, I’m exaggerating for effect, but now they’ve transformed themselves,” Arbuthnot said. She said if there were still examples of Uber operating in an unlawful way, “then I want to know about it.”

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