US judge decides that price-fixing case against Uber is a matter of arbitration

A US judge in Manhattan ruled that a Uber can force a customer to settle a price-fixing complaint through arbitration, despite the customer’s view that the case should be settled in court, as he did not agree to arbitration. In the case at hand, the customer claims that Uber has conspired with drivers to change surge pricing fares during peak demand periods. He also says that he has not agreed to arbitrate because ‘a keypad had obscured a hyperlink to Uber’s terms of service, including the arbitration clause, when he signed up with his smartphone’. In response, Uber argued that the customer had an unobstructed view of the hyperlink. The lawsuit, which began in December 2015, went through several stages, including appeals by both Uber and the customer. The judge’s decision to reinstate the arbitration provisions was welcome by Uber, while the customer’s lawyers noted they are waiting for the court’s opinion before deciding about the next steps.