Aggressive lobbying of state and local officials pays off for Uber

It also manages to mobilise thousands of supporters fast to protest curbs that officials try to place on its operations


ON A Thursday in June, bureaucrats from Virginia's Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) made their move against Uber Technologies. The fast- growing ride-for-hire company was told its popular service was, in fact, illegal and the firm needed to immediately cease all operations in the state.

Far from being intimidated, Uber was ready to fight back. The company immediately called on one of its most potent weapons: its ever-growing list of smartphone-wielding customers. A notice sent to Uber users in Virginia included the email address and phone number of the ordinarily low-profile official in charge of the decision. The notice instructed the company's supporters to demand that the DMV "stand...

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