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FBI is Investigating Uber for Using Software to Track Lyft Drivers

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According to The Wall Street Journal, the Federal Bureau of Investigation is reportedly probing ride-sharing giant Uber Technologies to see if the company was using illegal software to interfere with its rivals.

The FBI investigation, led by the firm’s New York office and the Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office, is focusing on a software program called “Hell” which Uber allegedly used to track Lyft drivers from 2014 to 2016.

With Hell, Uber would create fake Lyft customer accounts to then request rides and track nearby Lyft drivers and ride prices. The company, then, would use this information to “monitor how many Lyft drivers were available in certain areas at certain times…[filling] apparent gaps in Lyft’s coverage in real time,” writes The Verge.

Hell also allowed Uber to obtain information on drivers who worked for both ride-hailing leaders, and the WSJ notes that the program could have been used as a way to lure drivers away from Lyft with cash incentives.

This is the latest legal trouble to hit Uber, and the WSJ’s report recently follows the company’s announcement that former Expedia (EXPE - Free Report) chief Dara Khosrowshahi would be taking over as CEO.

It’s also not the first time the company has faced probing over its use of Hell. Earlier this year, a former Lyft driver filed a class action lawsuit against Uber about its use of the software program, though the case was dismissed just last month.

Uber is also currently embroiled in a U.S. Justice Department criminal probe over its use of a software program called “Greyball” that let the company dodge regulators in cities where it didn’t have the license to operate.

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