Uber files federal suit against St. Louis Taxi Commission

Uber has found its next battle, and it comes in the gateway to the west. The ride-sharing app has sued the St. Louis Taxicab Commission in federal court, claiming it violated the Sherman Antitrust Act, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. The company has also begun offering service in defiance of the commission's wishes.

The San Francisco-based ride-sharing service is asking a federal court to grant a restraining order that would allow it to operate within the city and without the oversight of the taxi commission for the next two weeks, the Post-Dispatch reports. The commission, which is slated to meet today, will also be banned from enacting or enforcing new regulations.

The move comes after the taxi commission gave the okay to Uber to set up shop in St. Louis, but only if it consented to the app's drivers being fingerprinted as part of a criminal background check, the Post-Dispatch reports. Uber, though, said such a move would keep it from operating in the city, and that fingerprinting would be a burden on the service's many part-time drivers.

The suit also details Uber's request that the taxi commission be reworked so that members of the local industry can't assert their control over it. As the Post-Dispatch tells it, the taxi commission is something of a mess. State law demands that four of the commission's nine members come from the local taxi industry and that at least one position be reserved for a driver. Despite that, the driver's spot hasn't been occupied in over two years.

According to the Post-Dispatch, Uber calls its legal wrangling "a last resort to provide residents with the same transportation options they have in other cities."

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