Uber Technologies has formed an alliance of unprecedented proportion in Brazil with other companies offering ride-hailing services including 99 it biggest rival in the country, in an attempt to win support of the public to block new regulation that is threatening how they do business in a market that is currently booming.
Despite being the dominant player in Brazil within the sector, Uber joined forces with three of its smaller rivals for a campaign focused on the public that helped convince local senators omit parts of a new measure that would have turned the ride-hailing companies into everyday taxi services.
With a possible ban hanging over Uber in London along with several federal investigations in the U.S., new CEO of Uber Dara Khosrowshahi had to win in the South American country.
Brazil is Uber’s second largest market trailing only the U.S and the economic capital of Brazil Sao Paulo has more Ubers rides than does New York.
Uber along with Cabify from Spain and apps Lady Driver and 99 from Brazil recruited on line influencers and flooded the different social media platforms with messages that asked users to call lawmakers.
Using “Together for Mobility,” as a slogan, the apps were able to put thousands of their drivers in the streets of cities across Brazil to protest as the managers in Brazil of Uber, Cabify and 99 created a video together that warned Brazilians that popular ride-hailing was being threatened by red tape and could suffocate.
The collaboration amongst the competitors might be a sign of the strategy of the new Uber CEO of fighting against unwanted regulation with an approach that is less confrontational than his predecessor the outspoken Travis Kalanick.
A spokesperson for Uber Brazil said that the coalition called upon its drivers and its users to mobilize through gathering signatures that supported alternative regulation for the ride hailing platforms. The petition that was present to Brazil’s Congress had 816,000 signatures.
In the amended bill, Brazil’s senator eliminated the requirement that drivers own their vehicles, and use the same plates that public taxes use, which are red, though a ban on rides outside the city limits in which the car had been registered was left in.
While the drivers must register with authorities in the local municipality, they are not to be classes as part of public transportation if the new amendment states, and no municipality would have the right to ban the ride hailing services or to limit the numbers of them in existence.