When Uber customer Spencer Meyer filed a price-fixing lawsuit against Uber at the end of last year, he probably knew that he was kicking a fountainhead-shaped hornet's nest, but now he's getting a real taste of how Travis Kalanick gets down.
Here's a little update on Meyer v Kalanick from Reuters:
A federal judge on Monday banned Uber Technologies Inc and its Chief Executive Travis Kalanick from using information from a background check on a passenger bringing a price-fixing lawsuit, saying the investigative firm conducting the probe may have engaged in criminal conduct.
Oh, Uber. What did you do?
U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff in Manhattan also faulted the popular ride-sharing service for hiring the firm, Ergo, at all.
Rakoff called it a "sad day" that Uber felt compelled to authorize what became an "intrusive and clandestine," and ultimately unsuccessful, probe to unearth damaging information about the plaintiff Spencer Meyer and his lawyer.
Firstly; Heeeeey Jed Rakoff, Why you always so busy?
Secondly; WTF, Uber? One dude in Connecticut sues you for shady pricing so you go full creep and pull a Dick Nixon on the guy?
You got to think these things through, guys. Sure, being a hyper-valued tech startup entitles you to a certain level of paranoid behavior, and gathering confidential private information to attack enemies is the perfect plan for an Ayn Rand-themed car service based in Silicon Valley, but this just doesn't look...great.
It's bad enough that Jed Rakoff - a federal judge who has ruled on everything from Countrywide's rapacious mortgage lending practices to seemingly every kind of insider trading scheme imaginable by the human mind - took pains to impress upon Uber that he was pretty unimpressed with the setting on its moral compass.
"The court finds perfectly appropriate an order enjoining defendants from making use of the fruits of their own troubling conduct," Rakoff wrote. "The court cannot help but be troubled by this whole dismal incident."
Damn, Uber. The guy who dealt with Raj Gupta, Bernie Madoff, Marc Dreier, Raj Rajaratnam and Andrew WW Caspersen is "troubled by this whole incident."
You better hope we don't tell him about that sh!t you pulled at Carnegie Mellon.