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Jeff Chiu / AP

A new lawsuit filed in Brooklyn federal court accuses Uber of not disclosing that it calculates riders' fares differently than for drivers, according to Fast Company. A similar one has been filed in San Francisco.

Why it matters: Uber's revenue mostly comes from the cut it takes from each ride's fare, so unsurprisingly, it's constantly tweaking its pricing strategies. Unfortunately, it's already amassed a lot of distrust from its drivers, who often feel cheated by the company, and Uber's new "upfront pricing" is increasingly frustrating both drivers and riders.

After it rolled out "upfront pricing" last year, some drivers and riders began to notice differences between the price of some rides and what drivers were paid. Uber explained at the time that it sometimes overestimates a route (causing the rider to pay more), and sometimes underestimates it (causing the company to pay the difference to the driver). It also said that its driver agreement states that driver earnings are calculated based on miles and minutes driven, not the final price of a ride.

The criticisms:

  • Fare cuts: One of Uber's most controversial price cuts occurred every year in January across dozens of cities (it discontinued them this year). Uber claimed it was to spur demand during the post-holidays slump, though it didn't stop drivers from protesting the cuts.
  • Increasing commissions: Uber has tweaked the percentage cut it takes from drivers in various ways, frustrating drivers who see their earnings drop.
  • Artificial "surge pricing" Riders have questioned whether Uber sometimes artificially hikes prices without there being a high demand.
  • Pocketing extra money: Uber's "upfront pricing" has been controversial among drivers who feel their earnings should be calculated based on higher fares when they occur. Uber also revealed recently it's now charging more for certain popular routes.

Go deeper

Justice Department drops insider trading inquiry against Sen. Richard Burr

Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) walking through the Senate Subway in the U.S. Capitol in December 2020. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

The Department of Justice told Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) on Tuesday that it will not move forward with insider trading charges against him.

Why it matters: The decision, first reported by the New York Times, effectively ends the DOJ's investigation into the senator's stock sell-off that occurred after multiple lawmakers were briefed about the coronavirus' potential economic toll. Burr subsequently stepped down as chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Netflix tops 200 million global subscribers

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Netflix said that it added another 8.5 million global subscribers last quarter, bringing its total number of paid subscribers globally to more than 200 million.

The big picture: Positive fourth-quarter results show Netflix's resiliency, despite increased competition and pandemic-related production headwinds.

Janet Yellen plays down debt, tax hike concerns in confirmation hearing

Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen at an event in December. Photo: Alex Wong via Getty Images

Janet Yellen, Biden's pick to lead the Treasury Department, pushed back against two key concerns from Republican senators at her confirmation hearing on Tuesday: the country's debt and the incoming administration's plans to eventually raise taxes.

Driving the news: Yellen — who's expected to win confirmation — said spending big now will prevent the U.S. from having to dig out of a deeper hole later. She also said the Biden administration's priority right now is coronavirus relief, not raising taxes.