Tech world's biggest rivalry: It's not Apple vs. Google

By Douglas MacMillan - Wall Street Journal

A spokeswoman for Uber denied the company is intentionally ordering Lyft rides to add congestion to its competitor's service, but confirmed the company does offer recruitment incentives. "We recently ran a program where thousands of riders recruited drivers from other platforms, earning hundreds of dollars in Uber credits for each driver who tries Uber," she said.

According to an email Uber sent to drivers in May that was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, the company offers $US250 for referring a new driver to its service; $US500 for referring a Lyft driver; and $US1,000 for signing up a Lyft "mentor," an experienced Lyft contractor who helps train new drivers.

Mohan Lama, a former yellow cab driver in San Francisco who now drives for Uber, believes more drivers will stop using Lyft when the company begins taking commissions again. "The day Lyft will start commissions, their drivers will stop working," he said. "Lyft is in a trap.

Uber, led by sharp-tongued technologist Travis Kalanick, operates in nearly three times as many markets as Lyft, whose co-founders Logan Green and John Zimmer have crafted a friendlier image by attaching fuzzy pink moustaches to cars and encouraging passengers to greet each other with fist bumps.

A Lyft spokeswoman said this week that representatives from Uber have abused its service in the past several months with the goal of poaching drivers and slowing down its network.

Read more here: Business Spectator


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