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Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

Uber looks like it's playing hardball again — this time in a conflict with the city of San Francisco over food delivery fees.

What's happening: In response to an order from the San Francisco mayor capping the fees delivery services can charges restaurants, Uber's food delivery business announced Friday it would no longer serve residents of the city's Treasure Island neighborhood, saying it's no longer able to finance those operations.

Context: Uber made its reputation sparring with city governments, but in recent years has learned to moderate its approach during crises.

  • The company let ride-hailing prices in New York City surge due to high demand as Hurricane Sandy hit the city in 2012. Following immediate and intense backlash, it then doubled driver earnings while charging passengers standard fares until the storm was over. 
  • In 2014, the company settled with New York’s attorney general, agreeing to cap surge pricing during natural disasters and emergencies there and nationwide. It has broadly avoided fights with officials over crisis pricing ever since.

The San Francisco fight breaks that pattern.

  • "Unfortunately ... the restrictions imposed by this order forced us to update our service area to reduce operational costs," a spokesperson said in a statement. "We remain hopeful that the temporary changes that companies were forced to make won't further hurt those that we're trying to help the most during this time: customers, small businesses and delivery people."
  • Supervisor Matt Haney, who represents Treasure Island in San Francisco's City Hall, accused the company of shutting out the neighborhood as retaliation for the fee cap.

Between the lines: Unlike a hurricane, which lasts a few days, Uber expects this crisis to go on — and that's likely why it is eager to fight the fee cap, particularly if other cities follow suit.

Our thought bubble: Uber is already a money-losing business, but its effort to keep its losses in check might not win much sympathy given how widespread the economic pain is right now, and how much people depend on delivery services.

Go deeper: The gig economy's coronavirus test

Go deeper

Updated Aug 11, 2020 - Health

N.Y., N.J. and Conn. to require travelers from 31 states to quarantine

Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Travelers from 31 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands are now required to quarantine for 14 days when traveling to New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

What's new: Hawaii, South Dakota and the Virgin Islands were added to the travel advisory list on Tuesday, while Alaska, Ohio, New Mexico and Rhode Island were removed, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.

California labor commissioner sues Uber and Lyft

Photo: Lane Turner/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

California's Labor Commission has filed lawsuits against Uber and Lyft, accusing them of "committing wage theft by misclassifying employees as independent contractors." The suit will replace individual claims that drivers have filed.

Why it matters: This is the latest move by California officials seeking to force the companies to reclassify their drivers from independent contractors to employees following a new law that went into effect in January.

Updated Oct 7, 2020 - Health

World coronavirus updates

Expand chart
Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

New Zealand now has active no coronavirus cases in the community after the final six people linked to the Auckland cluster recovered, the country's Health Ministry confirmed in an email Wednesday.

The big picture: The country's second outbreak won't officially be declared closed until there have been "no new cases for two incubation periods," the ministry said. Auckland will join the rest of NZ in enjoying no domestic restrictions from late Wednesday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, declaring that NZ had "beat the virus again."