Still at odds with regulators, Uber launches in St. Louis, files lawsuit

Uber has launched in St. Louis and St. Louis County in defiance of new regulations passed Friday by the Metropolitan Taxicab Commission, and the ride-hailing service has filed a federal lawsuit against the commission alleging anti-competitive behavior.

That followed a vote Friday morning by the cab commission to allow ride-hailing services like Uber to operate, under the condition that their drivers submit fingerprints as part of a criminal background check. The cab regulators and company have reached agreement on other issues that had been hurdles to Uber operating in the market, but the company has repeatedly resisted the fingerprint requirement.

In the lawsuit, San Francisco-based Uber alleged the MTC has engaged in anti-competitive practices, violating the Sherman Antitrust Act. It also sought at temporary restraining order against the commission. A judge denied that request late Friday.

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay and St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger have been at odds over how to regulate ride-hailing services. Slay’s office drafted a proposal to allow Uber to operate without fingerprint checks, and it indicated Friday it would not encourage police to ticket Uber drivers.

Read more from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the St. Louis Business Journal

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